Soybeans fell for the first time in a week on signs that the highest prices since July 2008 may curb demand. Wheat also fell, as timely Midwest rains boosted prospects for U.S. crops.
A total of 752 soybean contracts covering a total of 3.76 million bushels were delivered on the first day allowed for the expiring May contract on the Chicago Board of Trade, a sign that traders preferred cash to holding soybeans. Before today, prices jumped 24 percent this year. As of April 24, hedge funds had boosted bets on higher prices to a record, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show.
“The deliveries were a surprise for the market because none were expected,” said Greg Grow, the director of Agribusiness for Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago. “There’s some fund liquidation today.”
Soybean futures for July delivery fell 0.1 percent to $14.92 a bushel at 10:31 a.m. on the CBOT, after dropping as much as 0.8 percent. On April 27, the price reached $15.0675, the highest since July 2008, after hot, dry weather reduced production in South America and boosted demand for U.S. supply.
Wheat prices fell as rain recharged soil moisture for maturing winter crops in the southern Great Plains, Grow said.
Some fields received as much as 4 inches (10.2 centimeters) of rain in the past three days, and about 85 percent of the Midwest got some moisture, the Commodity Weather Group LLC said in a report. Winter wheat in the Great Plains will benefit from general coverage of 0.5 inch to 2 inches of rain and more expected in the next five days, the Bethesda, Maryland-based private forecaster said.
Wheat futures for July delivery declined 0.1 percent to $6.495 a bushel in Chicago.
The U.S. soybean crop was valued at $35.8 billion last year, the second-largest behind corn, government figures show. Wheat is the fourth-biggest crop, behind hay, with a value of $14.4 billion.
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