Soybeans Fall Most in Two Weeks After China Cancels Purchases

Feb 12, 2014 4:02 pm ET

Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Soybean futures fell the most in two weeks after China, the biggest global buyer, canceled purchases of U.S. supplies as harvesting in Brazil accelerates. Wheat and corn also declined.

China canceled 272,000 metric tons of U.S. sales, the Department of Agriculture said in a statement today. The number of ships loading or waiting for soybeans at ports in Brazil, the biggest exporter, fell to 63 yesterday, down from 94 on Feb. 7, signaling an easing backlog, data collected by Bloomberg show. Prices have climbed 2.4 percent in 2014 as Chinese imports reached a record for the month in January.

“The Chinese cancellation means a shift away from U.S. supplies,” Dale Durchholz, the senior market analyst for AgriVisor LLC in Bloomington, Illinois, said in a telephone interview.

Soybean futures for delivery in March declined 0.9 percent to close at $13.23 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest drop since Jan. 29. The price touched $13.40 on Feb. 10, the highest for a most-active contract since Dec. 11.

Soybean-meal futures fell 1.3 percent to $443.50 for 2,000 pounds, after reaching $452.90, the highest since June. Prices dropped on speculation that rain in the next week will ease dryness in Brazil and maintain favorable growing conditions for crops in Argentina, the top shipper of the animal feed.

“The high-pressure ridge that has been keeping Brazil dry is shifting east and weakening,” Durchholz said. “That’s generally good for allowing work to continue in ports.”

Wheat futures for March delivery fell 0.6 percent to $5.87 a bushel in Chicago, after touching $5.9825, the highest since Jan. 8

Corn futures for delivery in March fell 0.3 percent to $4.40 a bushel, capping the first three-day drop since Jan. 9. Prices slumped 40 percent last year, the most since at least 1960, on rising global reserves.

--Editors: Millie Munshi, Steve Stroth