FOB Gulf Grain-Soybean offers jump on demand, tight loading capacity

CHICAGO, July 18 (Reuters) – U.S. FOB Gulf soybean basis offers jumped to the highest levels in nearly five years on Friday on strong demand for new-crop supplies and tight autumn export capacity, traders said.

* Premiums for loadings in September increased by about 20 cents to $2 per bushel above Chicago Board of Trade November soybean futures, the highest since August 2009. Existing supplies remained tight ahead of the autumn harvest while international buyers, lead by top importer China, have bought large volumes of new-crop soybeans this week.

* Multiyear lows in both soybean and corn futures have led to increased demand while loading capacity for the crops in October and November was nearly sold out at the Gulf, the traders said.

* Soybean sales to China this week have been the strongest since at least January, with shipping periods from late August to January 2015. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said early on Friday that a combined 580,000 tonnes of soybeans had been sold to China and unknown destinations, the fourth such “flash sale” this week.

* Corn export demand remained mostly routine as some importers were avoiding booking large sales as prices have been dropping owing to an expected bumper U.S. crop. Many importers were well-covered for immediate needs.

* Wheat export premiums were mostly steady amid slow demand and ample available supplies around the world.

* Surging barge freight on Midwest rivers supported bids for the commodities in the CIF barge market and also underpinned export premiums at the Gulf. (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago; editing by Matthew Lewis)

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