Soybeans Fall Below $15 for First Time Since July on Demand Drop

Soybeans tumbled below $15 a bushel in Chicago for the first time since July as investors reduced bets on a price advance amid signs of slowing demand for U.S. exports. Corn and wheat also declined.

Soybeans for delivery in November lost as much as 2.4 percent to $14.8675 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the lowest price for the most-active contract since July 3. The price was $14.9125 by 12:44 p.m. Paris time, down from a record $17.89 on Sept. 4.

Speculators cut their net-long positions on soybean futures and options for a fifth straight week to the smallest since March, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Export sales of U.S. soybeans for delivery this marketing year plunged 61 percent in the week to Oct. 4 from the previous week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Oct. 12.

“We’re seeing a net withdrawal of the funds from the commodity markets in the context of uncertainty about the economy,” Paris-based farm adviser Agritel wrote in a comment. “Uncertainty continues to dominate the market, divided between fundamentals that call for price tension, and on the other hand a drop in demand linked to the economic crisis.”

Bets on higher soybean futures and options outnumbered wagers on a drop by 176,907 contracts in the week to Oct. 9, down 1 percent from a week earlier, CFTC data showed. That’s before the USDA on Oct. 11 raised its estimate for world soybean stocks before the 2013 Northern Hemisphere harvest by 8.4 percent to 57.56 million metric tons from a month ago.

“They’re just taking a little bit of money off the table,” Michael Pitts, a commodity sales director at National Australia Bank Ltd., said from Sydney. “The market has had a large move already. They’re certainly still quite long beans.”

Rapeseed for November delivery traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris fell 1.1 percent to 469.25 euros ($608.10) a metric ton.

Corn for December delivery fell as much as 1.5 percent to $7.4125 a bushel in Chicago before trading at $7.415, while wheat for delivery in the same month lost 0.6 percent to $8.5125 a bushel.

Milling wheat for November delivery traded in the French capital slipped 0.3 percent to 257.25 euros a ton.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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