Soybeans Rises to Near 8-Year High
Chicago soybean futures rose to above $15.5 per bushel for the first time since July 2013, tracking gains in corn and wheat amid strong demand and concerns over global supplies. Chinese soybean imports hit 7.77 million tonnes in March, an annual increase of 82%, boosted by strong demand from the livestock sector. Meanwhile, the imports from Brazil, the world’s top exporter, dropped to the lowest since January 2017 as rain delayed some shipments. Also, the cool and dry weather in Midwest can impact the crops in spite of US farmers planning to sow 87.600 million acres with soybeans this year, the most since 2018.
Silver Trades Around the Flatline
Silver was little changed below $26 an ounce on Monday, after booking its 3rd straight week of gains last week, amid a slightly weaker dollar and Treasury yields and as investors digest rising coronavirus infections and await the Fed interest rate decision during the week. The Silver Institute expects global silver demand to rise 15% this year and prices may top 30% to an average annual price of $27.30. Demand from the auto sector is likely to increase as well as modern cars are using more silver than ever in their advanced technology components.
Chinese Yuan Extends 6-Week Highs
The Chinese Yuan added 0.00329 points or 0.05% to fresh 6-week highs of 6.48469 against the US Dollar on Monday after the onshore rate was set at 6.4913. Risk sentiment was boosted by the flow of strong US economic data last week as US factory activity powered ahead in early April, while retail sales jumped to a record high in March and hiring accelerated. US 10-year rates on Thursday held near 6-week lows of 1.57%, while the US Dollar Index traded at 2-month lows. Meanwhile, the Fed will hold its two-day open-market committee convening its regular meeting from tomorrow. Policymakers are expected to reiterate their support for the economy by sustaining its ultra-loose policy accommodation.
South African Rand Steady
The South African rand was little changed for the third straight session to trade at 14.3 against the greenback on Monday, as the dollar remained subdued with ongoing expectations for the Fed to maintain its current stance that won’t see monetary tightening anytime soon. Locally, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said that South Africa is expected to resume the rollout of the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine from Wednesday, following the programme being paused on blood clotting concerns. On the data front, producer prices, budget balance and trade figures will be closely watched this week.