Johannesburg - South African soybean futures declined the most in more than four weeks, retreating from an eight-month high, as the Chicago benchmark fell on a report that showed heat and dryness had less effect on crop conditions in the US than some analysts expected.
The oilseed for delivery in December, the most active contract, fell 2.2 percent to 5,840 rand ($570) a metric ton by the midday close on the South African Futures Exchange.
That was the biggest decline since August 5.
he contract yesterday climbed as much as 2.1 percent to 5,995 rand, the highest since it started trading on December 19.
An estimated 54 percent of the US soybean crop, the world’s largest, was in good or excellent condition in the latest week, down from 58 percent on August 25, the US Department of Agriculture said in a report yesterday, based on a survey of the 18 biggest growing states.
Soybeans fell 1.1 percent to $13.72 a bushel today on the Chicago Board of Trade, after climbing 2.2 percent yesterday on speculation dryness in the past 30 days hurt yield prospects.
“Soy was the most vulnerable at one stage, most people had expected it to drop, but yesterday’s USDA report showed that it was not as bad as anticipated,” Benjamin Swanepoel, a trader from Trademar Futures (Pty) Ltd., said by phone in Johannesburg.
Yellow corn for December delivery in South Africa dropped 2 percent to 2,181 rand a ton, the biggest drop since July 24, while the white variety for delivery in the same month decreased 1.6 percent to 2,333 rand a ton.
South Africa is the continent’s largest producer of corn.
Meal made from white corn is used as one of the nation’s staple foods, while the yellow variety is mainly used as animal feed. - Bloomberg News