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Soybean Plunges 1% As Heat Wave Could Impact Pollination

July 15, 2019 at 17:43 by Andrew Moran

Soybean futures are sliding as much as 1% to start the trading week as the US endures a heat wave that has expanded into the Plains and Midwest. It does not help that Chinese demand for soybean reserves has slipped to the lowest level in 2019, which comes as Beijing’s imports have weakened this year.

November soybean futures tumbled $0.1225, or 1.32%, to $9.1925 per bushel at 17:08 GMT on Monday on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBoT). Despite a steep decline to kick off the week, soybean has turned positive on the year, advancing nearly 3%. The agricultural commodity had plunged by double-digits, but it has since pared those significant losses.

The latest weather forecasts show that the US will see a change in weather patterns this week. A prolonged heat wave will touch the Plains and Midwest, a central region for soybean and corn production. Temperatures are expected to top 90 degrees Fahrenheit (33 degrees Celsius) for the next several days.

This has sparked concerns that the hot and dry weather could negatively affect the important pollination phase for soybean and corn. Extended heat exposure, particularly at night, can impact pollination.

From the University of Nebraska-Lincoln CropWatch:

In years when we get high day and nighttime temperatures coinciding with the peak pollination period, we can expect problems. Continual heat exposure before and during pollination worsens the response … high humidity, which helps reduce crop water demand, also increases the thermal mass of the air — and provides extra stored heat and insulation at night.

Interestingly enough, according to the South China Morning Post, Chinese scientists have developed a gene-modified soybean that can grow in warmer climates. This could reverse the effects of shortened growth periods, premature flowering, and reduced production in certain parts of the globe.

Meanwhile, China is in the spotlight again for two reasons: demand and inspections.

Despite prices falling at state auctions in China, demand for soybean reserves from the last few years has slipped to the lowest level this year. At the same time, export inspections for American soybean products came in at 854,373 metric tons in the week ending July 11.

In other commodity markets, August corn futures plummeted $0.095, or 2.07%, to $4.4975 per pound. September wheat futures cratered $0.15, or 2.87%, to $5.08 a bushel. September orange juice futures declined $0.02, or 1.95%, to $1.015 a pound.

If you have any questions and comments on the commodities today, use the form below to reply.

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