By Joanna Levin

SOYABEAN prices staged a small recovery early last week in the USA on perceptions that the market was oversold. But favourable weather conditions quickly turned traders bearish again and prices have since dropped sharply.

The Chicago September futures contract closed yesterday (Tuesday) at 551.5¢/bushel, down 4.25¢ from Monday and down from 575¢ last Thursday. The market has dropped from around 660¢/bushel in June.

This years bean crop is now so well advanced that even a bout of bad weather cannot really hurt it, according to analysts.

Already 84% of the bean crop is blooming, compared with a five-year average of 72% at this point in the season, while 48% of the crop is setting pods, ahead of the average 31% seen in the past five years.

Market watchers are busy raising their yield estimates and stock carry-over forecasts ahead of the US Department of Agricultures report due out next Wednesday (12 August).

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