Monday, February 22, 2010

Soybeans Fall as Record South American Crops Slow U.S. Exports

Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Soybeans fell for a third straight day as rain enhanced yield potential for South American crops, curbing sales of supplies from the U.S., the biggest exporter.

Export sales slumped 35 percent to 203,587 metric tons in the week ended Feb. 11, the smallest amount since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today. The total included 279,000 tons in earlier sales that were canceled.

“Weekly soybean sales were disappointing,” said Joe Victor, director of marketing for Allendale Inc. in McHenry, Illinois. “The big cancellation in soybeans indicates a switch to supplies from South America.”

Soybean futures for May delivery fell 3 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $9.545 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. The most-active futures rose less than 0.1 percent this week after surging 4.4 percent a week ago, the most since November.

Growers in Brazil and Argentina, the two biggest exporters after the U.S., have begun harvesting what the USDA has said will be a record soybean crop, partly because of rain in the past two months. Production will be a combined 119 million metric tons this year, up 34 percent from a year earlier, the USDA said last week.

Soybeans are the biggest U.S. crop after corn, valued at a record $31.8 billion last year, USDA figures show.