Soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade fell to a two-and-a-half month low Thursday, with traders citing pressure from the ongoing U.S. harvest and signs of weak overseas demand, as investors worry that a global economic downturn would erode demand for food and energy based commodities.
Soybeans (S_1:COM) for November delivery closed -0.7% to $13.57 1/4 per bushel, the lowest settlement for a most-active contract since July 25, while December wheat (W_1:COM) finished -2% to $8.81 3/4 per bushel and December corn (C_1:COM) ended -1.2% at $6.76 per bushel.
ETFs: (NYSEARCA:SOYB), (NYSEARCA:WEAT), (NYSEARCA:CORN), (DBO), (MOO)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Thursday that soybean export sales totaled 777K metric tons in the week ended September 29, down 23% from the previous week, while corn export sales plummeted 56% to 277K tons and wheat sales totaled 229K tons.
Overseas demand for U.S. soybeans and corn normally surges at harvest time, but low water levels at southern sections of the Mississippi River stopped most shipping traffic, sending prices for barges soaring.
“Overall, a disappointing report, but not surprising with Midwest river logistical problems,” said Terry Reilly of Futures International.
“Traders are generally adopting a ‘risk-off’ approach to trading grains,” Arlan Suderman of StoneX said, citing continuing stress from a higher U.S. dollar and Treasury yields.