CBOT soyabean oil futures surged to a 12-year high on 20 April against a backdrop of fears over tight supply, AgriCensus reported.

The May contract rose 250 points to a contract high of US$62.66/lb while the July contract was up just below 4% at US$59.19/lb, the report on 22 April said.

AgriCensus wrote that the futures were at their highest level since July 2008 as cold weather at the start of the US planting season had led to fears of persistent pressure on soyabean and corn supply.

Tight soyabean supplies in the USA had followed a surge in soyabean exports to China at the end of last year alongside record crushing rates and booming soya oil demand as a feedstock in the biodiesel sector, AgriCensus wrote.

“There is a scarcity of alternate Canadian canola oil in the US markets, and thus soya oil has to meet the food and renewable fuel demand,” Anilkumar Bagani, research head at Mumbai-based vegetable oil broker Sunvin Group, told AgriCensus.

The surge in CBOT soybean oil futures came on the same day that US President Joe Biden committed to halving US emissions by 2030 – doubling the previous target – giving a further boost to US biofuel demand, the report said.

New crop plantings were estimated to be lower than had been initially expected by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) – at 35.2Mha (87.6M acres) compared with 36.4Mha (90M acres) originally forecast, AgriCensus wrote.