Soybeans fell the most in four weeks on speculation that improving weather for crops in Brazil and Argentina will reduce demand for supplies from the U.S. Corn also declined.
Rains will boost depleted soil moisture and bolster planting in parts in central and eastern Brazil, World Weather Inc. said in a note. Soybean planting in the country was 28 completed on Oct. 26, up from the prior five-year average of 24 percent, consultant Safras e Mercado said in a report. Drier weather in the next two weeks will firm muddy soils for farm machinery and quicken planting in Argentina, World Weather said.
“Soybeans are falling with improved South American weather forecasts for rapid planting progress,” Greg Grow, the director of agribusiness at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Weather conditions appear favorable for big crops in South America.”
Soybean futures for January delivery dropped 2.2 percent to close at $15.2975 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest decline for a most-active contract since Oct. 1.
Brazil is forecast to take over from the U.S. this year as the world’s biggest producer and exporter, according to the Department of Agriculture. Argentina is the largest shipper of soy-based animal feed and vegetable oil.
Corn futures for December delivery fell 0.1 percent to $7.37 a bushel on the CBOT, the sixth straight decline and the longest slump since March 2011. The grain has dropped 13 percent since reaching a record $8.49 on Aug. 10 amid slowing demand.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly report on crop progress won’t be issued as scheduled today after Washington offices were shut because of Hurricane Sandy.
Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $76.5 billion in 2011, followed by soybeans at $35.8 billion, government figures show.