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Soybean Slides as US Harvest Gains, Chinese Sales Fall Short

October 29, 2019 at 17:44 by Andrew Moran

Soybean futures are tumbling on Tuesday after the US government reported that US farmers are experiencing tremendous progress in their harvest. But there are concerns that these gains may be lost as winter weather is expected in the key growing areas of the US Midwest over the coming days. Traders are also combing through reports that China is buying American soybeans had a healthy rate.

November soybean futures fell $0.0275, or 0.29%, to $9.3275 per bushel at 17:35 GMT on Tuesday on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBoT). Soybean prices have enjoyed a stellar October, advancing 3% month-to-date. So far this year, the agricultural commodity has risen by nearly 5%.

According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), farmers have harvested 62% of their soybean crop, up from just 46% a week ago. Despite the tremendous advance, the figure still remains below the average pace of 78% for this time of the year.

The USDA also reported that the corn harvest was 41% complete, up from 30% last week. Overall, it is below the average rate of 61%.

But soybean and corn crops could be impacted by snow in the coming days. According to various weather forecasts, the Midwest, which crosses from Missouri to Wisconsin, is expected to slow the harvest. Investors fear that the early bout of winter weather could impact crops.

Farmers are still reeling from this past spring when heavy rainfall affected planting efforts.

The USDA recently confirmed that private sellers recorded a sale of 264,000 tons of US soybeans to China for the 2019–2020 marketing year. This is the first confirmation of a soybean sale since Washington announced the first phase of a comprehensive trade agreement with Beijing, which includes the world’s second-largest economy buying up to $50 billion in US agriculture.

Although this was a positive development, it fell short of earlier forecasts that showed US soybean export sales to China would top 475,000 tons.

In other agriculture markets, November corn futures were flat at $3.84 per pound. December wheat futures dropped $0.0275, or 0.54%, to $5.09 a bushel. January orange juice futures dipped 0.25 cents, or 0.25%, to 97.90 cents a pound.

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