CHICAGO: Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures fell to their lowest price in more than a week on Friday under continued pressure from rain forecasts in the dry growing areas of South America, said analysts.
Soybean futures have fallen about 3% since hitting July highs a week ago on concerns about drought reducing harvests in southern Brazil and Argentina.
The most active CBOT soybean contract settled down 7-1/2 cents at $13.69-3/4 a bushel and touched its lowest price since Jan. 4.
“We are looking at a bigger decline in soybean production in South America, but with the recent weather outlook, it may not be as bad as previously expected,” said Ole Houe, director of advisory services at the agricultural broker. IKON Commodities in Sydney.
South America’s crops are crucial for global importers like China, the world’s biggest buyer of soybeans.
China’s soybean imports in 2021 fell from a year earlier, the first annual decline since 2018, customs data showed on Friday, depressed by weakening demand from its huge livestock sector.
Meanwhile, in the CBOT corn market, prices rebounded after falling about 3% from a six-month high reached on Dec. 28.
The most active corn futures finished up 8-3/4 cents at $5.96-1/4 a bushel. The contract earlier matched Thursday’s low of $5.85-1/4, the lowest price since Jan. 3.
“Prices have fallen to levels that represent good value, especially if the weather in South America turns warm and dry again,” said Tomm Pfitzenmaier, analyst for Summit Commodity Brokerage in Iowa.
Weather forecasts show that parched areas of Argentina, the world’s largest exporter of processed soybeans and second largest producer of corn, could receive significant rainfall. Still, some analysts are cautious after a heat wave exacerbated drought linked to the La Nina climate pattern.
“We would use any major setbacks to own soybeans with the potential for La Nina to bring drier conditions once the rains pass over the drier areas next week,” Pfitzenmaier said.
CBOT wheat hit a one-week low and settled down 5 1/4 cents at $7.41 3/4 a bushel.