Soybean futures tumbled to a six-week low after China, the world’s biggest importer, canceled its third U.S. purchase in two weeks, while prospects improved for Brazil’s crop. Corn was little changed.
China canceled 315,000 million metric tons of previous soybean purchases for delivery before Aug. 31, bringing the total to 1.155 million since Dec. 18, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report today. Yesterday, the USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service said Brazil’s harvest this year will jump 25 percent to a record 83 million tons, boosting exports 21 percent and overtaking the U.S. as the top shipper.
“The mindset is for bigger crops in Brazil to reduce Chinese demand for U.S. soybeans,” Jerry Gidel, the chief feed- grain analyst for Rice Dairy LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “The market is adjusting to slowing demand.”
Soybean futures for March delivery dropped 0.5 percent to $13.8475 a bushel at 10:12 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching $13.725, the lowest since Nov. 16. Soybeans rose 17 percent in 2012, after drought cut production to a four-year low in the U.S.
Corn futures for March delivery rose 0.1 percent to $6.9175 bushel in Chicago, after touching $6.85, the lowest for a most- active contract since July 3. Last year, the price gained 8 percent, the fourth straight increase, after a drought cut U.S. production.
Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $76.5 billion in 2011, followed by soybeans at $35.8 billion, government figures show.
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