Pig-market collapse hits US soya growers

By Joanna Newman

THE soya-bean market has shown little movement over the past week.

Prices managed to firm up towards the end of last week on news of a higher than expected weekly export total of 22.4 million bushels for the week ended 22 October, up from 9.9 million bushels the week before.

However, prices eased off again early this week due to weakness in the wheat market and reports that the soya bean harvest is almost completed.

Farmers have gathered 89% of their bean crop, compared with a five-year average for the time of year of 85%.

Diminishing hopes of a quick US Department of Agriculture food-aid shipment to Russia have also put pressure on the soya-bean market. The Chicago November futures contract closed on Tuesday, 3 November at 550.75¢/bushel, down 2.5¢ from Monday but up from 248¢/bushel a week ago.

The biggest concern for soya bean producers is the collapse in the pig market. With hog prices at a thirty-year low, some hog producers face bankruptcy and this could damage the demand for soya meal.

This fear is not yet reflected in meal prices. The Chicago December meal contract settled on Tuesday 3 November at $141.20/tonne, unchanged from last week.

  • Pig prices at a 30-year low in USA, FWi Markets, today (05 November, 1998)
  • Click here for current Chicago soyabean prices

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