Bloomberg News

Soybeans Slide for Fourth Day on Improved Planting Conditions

October 20, 2011

Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Soybeans fell for a fourth day in Chicago on dry weather in Brazil and rain in Argentina that is likely to improve planting conditions for the oilseed.

Brazil will have three to five days of drier weather to aid sowing, forecaster DTN said yesterday. Fields in Argentina will get light to moderate rain through Oct. 24, Accuweather.com forecast yesterday. Prices also dropped on concern European leaders will fail to address the region’s debt crisis.

“We’ve had some decent rains in Argentina over the last couple of weeks,” boosting optimism yields will rise, Michael Creed, an agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank Ltd., said by phone from Melbourne today. Europe’s debt issues are also damping investor demand for commodities, he said.

January-delivery soybeans, the contract with the most open interest, slipped 0.4 percent to $12.265 a bushel by 1:21 p.m. Paris time on the Chicago Board of Trade, rebounding from a drop of as much as 1.5 percent. The November-delivery contract, which has the most volume, declined 0.4 percent to $12.20 a bushel.

Brazilian farmers usually plant soybeans in October, while Argentine seeding starts in November, U.S. Department of Agriculture data shows.

A French-German split about the role of the European Central Bank’s role in the region’s rescue strategy emerged as finance ministers prepare to meet tomorrow under pressure to craft a solution to the region’s debt crisis.

Tackling the Crisis

“It’s all looking a bit sloppy this morning as France and Germany appear at odds over how to tackle the European debt crisis, rather than all singing from the same song sheet,” Dave Norris, an independent U.K. grain trader, wrote on his website.

Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who chairs the group of euro-area finance ministers, indicated an impromptu meeting of European leaders last night failed to resolve differences before a summit scheduled for this weekend.

“That bearish news on the macro front overnight has certainly weighed on markets,” National Australia’s Creed said. Corn and wheat both dropped as much as 1 percent.

Corn for December delivery was last down 0.4 percent at $6.36 a bushel and December-delivery wheat was little changed at $6.1975 a bushel. Milling wheat for November delivery traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris slid 0.7 percent to 184.75 euros ($254.71) a metric ton.

Ukrainian Agriculture Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk said President Viktor Yanukovych signed a bill yesterday to cut export taxes for corn and wheat.

Black Sea exporters are “large discounters in the market,” and a reduction in Ukraine’s export tax will widen their price discount to U.S. supplies, according to Creed. “They tend to play a role in price direction,” he said.

Ukraine is set to be the world’s third-largest corn shipper this season after the U.S. and Argentina, according to USDA data. Ukraine also is the third-largest wheat exporter in the former Soviet Union, its figures show.

--With assistance from Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne and Daryna Krasnolutska in Kiev. Editors: Dan Weeks, John Deane.

To contact the reporters on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net; Luzi Ann Javier in Singapore at ljavier@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net


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