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Soybeans Stall Momentum on China’s Swine Fever Resurgence

Soybean futures are failing to maintain their raucous momentum this week on reports that there has been a resurgence of the African swine fever in China, the world’s biggest soybean consumer. But tighter US supplies have supported the soybean market so far this week.

April soybean futures picked up $0.035, or 0.25%, to $14.23 per bushel at 14:55 GMT on Tuesday on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBoT). Soybeans have stalled over the last week, sliding 0.8%. But they remain up nearly 9% year-to-date.

Could Chinese demand for American agriculture hit the pause button?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that new cases of African swine fever have been reported in the world’s second-largest economy. The newspaper reported that the new outbreak, which decimated the country’s hog supply in 2018 and 2019, is killing as much as 5% of the sow herd per month. This comes as the government had anticipated that inventories would return to pre-disease levels this year. Market observers say this will not happen until 2023.

Investors have been concerned that slowing Chinese purchases of US agriculture could limit the spike in commodity prices since a lot of the demand is coming from China.

But while this has weighed on soybean prices, a new report from S&P Global Platts suggests that US soybean crushes fell 6% year-over-year in February to a 17-month low of 155 million bushels. Soy oil stocks are also down 10% at 1.757 billion pounds.

Market analysts note that the lower-than-expected crush volumes are being blamed on the blast of wintry weather last month. The deep freeze and heavy snowfall impacted 100 million Americans in February and affected nearly every region of the country. But this has been beneficial for soybean prices since concerns over falling demand are being offset by tightening stocks.

In other agricultural commodities, April corn futures added $0.0325, or 0.59%, to $5.5275 per pound. April wheat futures shed $0.03, or 0.47%, to $6.42 a bushel. May coffee futures soared $0.0265, or 2.01%, to $1.3475 per pound.

If you have any questions and comments on commodities today, use the form below to reply.

© AndrewMoran for Commodity News, 2021. | Permalink | No comment |
Published under: Soybean

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