Soybean Futures Cap Weekly Decline as Chinese Imports May Slow

Soybeans capped a weekly decline as export data showed less demand for U.S. supplies amid concern that buying may slow from China, the world’s biggest importer. Corn and wheat also fell.

In the week ended June 13, U.S. exporters sold 108,500 metric tons for delivery in the year that starts on Sept. 1, down from 447,098 a week earlier, government data show. A cash squeeze in China may further slow growth in an economy that’s already cooling, curbing demand for raw materials.

“U.S. new-crop sales are highly dependent on Chinese demand, and the economic news out of China continues to disappoint,” Tomm Pfitzenmeier, a partner at Summit Commodity Brokerage in Des Moines, Iowa, said in an e-mailed report. “The trade is becoming concerned that the weakness in their economy will eventually hurt the demand for beans.”

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 0.9 percent to settle at $12.735 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price dropped 1.9 percent this week after falling 2.4 percent last week.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects domestic corn and soybean output will rise to a record in 2013, rebounding from a drought last year that damaged crops and eroded supplies. The agency will update its forecast of planted acreage on June 28.

Corn futures for delivery in December, after the U.S. harvest, dropped 0.8 percent to $5.5625 a bushel. The contract still gained 4.4 percent this week, the first gain in three.

Wheat futures for September delivery declined 0.4 percent to $7.05 a bushel in Chicago. The grain gained 2.4 percent this week, also the first increase in three.

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