Soybeans Decline to Seven-Week Low on South America Outlook

Jan 02, 2014 3:35 pm ET

Jan. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Soybean futures fell to a seven-week low and corn declined on speculation that rain will boost yields in South America, reducing demand for supplies from the U.S. Wheat extended a slump to a 19-month low.

In parts of Argentina, precipitation overnight reduced soil-moisture deficits, and more rain is expected in the six- to 15-day period, Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, said today in a report. In central and southern Brazil, scattered rain fell in the past two days, and more was forecast in the next two weeks.

“Stabilizing crop conditions in Argentina and nearly ideal conditions in Brazil should keep soybeans under pressure,” Jim Gerlach, the president of A/C Trading Co. in Fowler, Indiana, said in a telephone interview. “The pod-filling period happens in mid-February through mid-March in Argentina, and in Brazil from early February to early March.”

Soybean futures for March delivery fell 1.7 percent to close at $12.70 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price touched $12.625, the lowest for a most-active contract since Nov. 8. The oilseed dropped 8.3 percent last year.

Combined production by Brazil and Argentina, which begin harvesting in this month, may rise 8.5 percent to a record 142.5 million metric tons, the USDA said on Dec 10.

Brazil is the world’s biggest exporter and Argentina is the top shipper of soy-based animal feed and cooking oil.

Corn and soybean meal fell after China this week rejected two batches of U.S. dried distillers’ grains, a high-protein feed that is a byproduct of ethanol production, Gerlach said.

Corn futures for March delivery declined 0.4 percent to $4.205 a bushel. Earlier, the grain touched $4.185, the lowest since Dec. 2. Soybean-meal futures for March delivery fell 2.6% to $406.30 for 2,000 pounds. The price touched $403.40, the lowest since Nov. 21.

Wheat futures for March delivery dropped 1.4 percent to $5.97 a bushel. The grain touched $5.95, the lowest since May 14, 2012, on the outlook for record global production.

--Editors: Patrick McKiernan, Thomas Galatola