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Soybeans Retreat From 16-Month Highs on China, Capped by Weather

October 15, 2019 at 12:56 by Andrew Moran

Soybean futures are retreating from their best levels in 16 months, driven by fears of uncertainty over future Chinese imports. But prices were capped by a winter weather storm potentially targeting the Midwest and affecting crops. Despite the immense volatility in the soybean market, prices are still up in 2019.

November soybean futures tumbled $0.05, or 0.53%, to $9.355 per bushel at 12:52 GMT on Tuesday on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBoT). Year-to-date, soybean has advanced nearly 5%.

According to the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s soybean supplies are secured as inventories are more than enough to satisfy demand. Although Beijing imports of American soybeans are on the rise again amid the US-China trade truce, the government is searching for ways to stimulate domestic soybean production.

Early last year, China initiated a five-year plan which involved Beijing relying less on foreign soybeans and spurring output. This might be difficult to achieve, however, because the federal government has pledged to open up its domestic agriculture market to more foreign firms.

That said, Zhang Wufeng, head of the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration, averred that the nation’s food security is the best in the country’s history. Revealing a government white paper, Zhang explained that China must do more to depend on its own resources to ensure adequate food supplies.

We must hold the rice bowl firmly in our hands, and fill it with even more Chinese food.

Looking to the future, China has the conditions, capabilities and confidence to enhance food security relying on its own efforts.

What does this mean for export markets, like the US, Brazil, Argentina, and Australia? It might be difficult to predict. For now, soybean imports remain relatively healthy.

September soybean imports declined 13.5%, bringing the total down to 8.2 million tonnes. But the figure is still above the more than eight million tonnes from the same time a year ago. The decline is being attributed to the epidemic of African swine fever.

In other agricultural markets, November corn futures dropped $0.04, or 1.01%, to $3.935 per pound. November wheat futures plunged $0.0575, or 1.13%, to $5.0575 a bushel. December orange juice futures rose 0.45 cents, or 0.45%, to 99.85 cents per pound.

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