By Joanna Newman
THIS years soya bean crop in the northern hemisphere is off to a good start with field activity comfortably ahead of schedule.
Already 84% of the crop is in the ground, compared with a five-year average of 71% for the time of year.
Planting of the remaining acres may be delayed by wet weather although the current rain is beneficial to the planted soya beans already starting to emerge.
Amidst these conflicting weather concerns, the Chicago July soya bean contract has managed to creep up over the past week, closing on Tuesday, 8 June, at 469.0 cents/bushel, up from 458.0 cents a week earlier.
This price strength may prove short-lived, as the outlook for soya bean supply looks grim.
Due to the heavy rains in certain areas, some spring wheat acres may not be planted at all as time runs out for farmers.
Wheat planting should be completed by now, but only 92% of the spring wheat crop has in fact been planted.
Some of these unused wheat acres may be switched over to soya beans, adding to the severe glut of soya beans.
US soya oil prices have fallen due to weaker vegoil values in south-east Asia. The Chicago July contract dropped to 17.2 cents on 8 June from 17.8 cents just over a week ago.
This is the lowest level for the nearby-month futures contract in over a decade. US producers are pinning their hopes on increased soya product shipments to Russia under food-aid programmes, as a political benefit from any resolution to the Kosovo conflict.