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Soybean Dips Despite Fresh Foreign Sales, Drop in Crop Ratings

September 15, 2020 at 18:55 by Andrew Moran

Soybean futures are sliding on Tuesday after topping $10 for the first time since May 2018. Soybean prices failed to find support from the US government reporting deteriorating crop conditions, as well as fresh sales of the agricultural commodity. But could lower output permanently lift soybeans?

November soybean futures tumbled $0.075, or 0.75%, to $9.92 per bushel at 18:32 on Tuesday on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBoT). Soybean prices continue to turn things around, rallying more than 14% since June. Year-to-date, the crop is up 4%.

According to the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) weekly crop progress report, 63% of soybeans were rated in good-to-excellent condition, down from 65% in the previous week. Sixty percent of the corn crop was also rated in good-to-excellent condition, down 1% from last week. These ratings are worse than the market forecast of no change for either crop.

In a separate report, the USDA confirmed new corn and soybean sales to China. Beijing bought 664,000 tons of soybeans, the biggest single-day booked transaction in seven weeks as the country imports more American agriculture. The world’s second-largest economy is playing catch-up after falling behind on its commitments to purchasing US agriculture as part of the phase one trade agreement.

Also, in another report, the USDA lowered its expectations for American soybean production and 2020–2021 ending stocks. It did, however, leave its estimates for US soybean exports unchanged. This decision has sparked speculation that the government might cut its stocks forecasts over the next few months.

Commodity funds continued to add to their net long positions in soybean, as well as corn and wheat, according to the latest Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data. They were net sellers of soymeal futures.

In other agricultural commodities, October corn futures fell $0.0325, or 0.88%, to $3.6625 per pound. October wheat futures shed $0.075, or 1.37%, to $5.3825 a bushel. October coffee futures dipped $0.002, or 0.16%, to $1.216 per pound.

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