Soybeans fell the most in more than a week in Chicago on concern about falling demand from China, the biggest buyer of the oilseed.
Chinese soybean demand will weaken in the second and third quarters as crush margins slump in the next three months, with imported shipments accumulating and outstripping consumption, Chen Xuecong, vice president of Sinograin Oils Corp., said at the sidelines of an industry conference in Beijing.
Soybean futures for delivery in May dropped 1.2 percent to $14.165 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade by 6:27 a.m. The contract declined the most since March 12, trimming a weekly gain to 2 percent.
"In soybeans, operators are showing their concern about the cancellation of Chinese purchases from South America, maybe the beginnings of a downward revision of the country’s import requirements following a drop in demand," Paris-based farm adviser Agritel wrote in a market comment today.
China’s soybean imports fell to 4.81 million metric tons in February from 5.91 million tons in January, the lowest in four months, customs data show. The country may import 67 million tons in the year through Sept. 30, 2 million tons less than predicted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Chen said.
Palm oil for June delivery fell 1.6 percent in Malaysia to the lowest close in a month amid an outlook for rising production in Indonesia. May-delivery soybean oil, which competes with palm oil, fell 1.1 percent to 40.84 cents a pound in Chicago.
Wheat for May delivery dropped 0.7 percent to $6.99 a bushel in Chicago, still headed 1.7 percent higher this week. The contract touched $7.235 yesterday, the highest level since May. November-delivery milling wheat traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris fell 0.6 percent to 203.25 euros ($280) a ton.
Egypt, the world’s biggest wheat buyer, bought 60,000 tons from Russia and 60,000 tons from Romania in its latest tender on March 18, as well as 55,000 tons of U.S. wheat.
"The Black Sea offer is still leading the way in terms of competition," Jaime Nolan-Miralles, a risk analyst at INTL FCStone Inc. in Dublin, said by phone today.
Corn for delivery in May slipped 0.3 percent to $4.7725 a bushel in Chicago, set for a weekly decline of 1.8 percent.