CHICAGO, July 21 (Reuters) – Soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) closed lower on Thursday, hitting a six-month low, with the benchmark closing down about 2.3 percent as energy markets tumbled and weather improved in soybean-producing regions.
As of the close, soybean futures fell 23 cents to 33.50 cents, of which the August futures closed 30.50 cents lower at 1418.50 cents per bushel; the November futures closed 30.75 cents lower at 1301.50 cents / bushel; January futures settled down about 30.50 cents at 1309.50 cents / bushel.
The most active November futures trading range was 1294.75 cents to 1341.75 cents.
At one point, November futures fell to their lowest since Jan. 24.
After Russia restarted the Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline, the energy market fell sharply, putting downward pressure on the commodity market. Natural gas is again flowing from Russia to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, sparking heavy selling in crude oil and natural gas markets, with bearish sentiment spreading to agricultural markets, one analyst said.
Weather forecasts point to near-normal temperatures in the Corn Belt over the coming week, with 0.5 to 2 inches of rain likely.
U.S. soybean export sales improved and far exceeded market expectations. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly export sales report shows net U.S. soybean sales for 2021/22 of 203,500 tons for the week ending July 14, 2022, compared with a decrease of 362,900 tons a week earlier, when the hit a new yearly low. Net sales in 2022/23 were 254,700 tonnes, compared to 113,900 tonnes a week earlier.
Traders said that the EU has ordered a shipment of Brazilian soybeans, scheduled for early to mid-August, indicating that Brazilian soybeans are still the cheapest. Brazilian soybeans offered to Chinese buyers are $20/ton cheaper than U.S. Gulf soybeans, they said.
On Thursday, volume in the benchmark futures contract was estimated at 87,342 lots, compared with 80,049 lots in the previous session. Short volume was 318,312 lots, compared with 319,699 lots in the previous session.