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China's soybean, soymeal futures fall on African swine fever worries


CHINA'S soybean and soymeal futures fell on Monday, hit by concerns that outbreaks of African swine fever in China may reduce demand for feed, along with forecasts for a record US crop.

China's soybean futures fell as much as 1.8 per cent to 3,588 yuan (S$718) per tonne, their lowest level in nearly 10 years, before recovering slightly in afternoon trade.

Domestic soybeans are mainly used in the food sector, but they often track soymeal prices. The most actively traded soymeal futures on Dalian Commodity Exchange for delivery in January were down 2.8 per cent at 3,042 yuan per tonne in afternoon trade, near a two-month low and on track for the biggest daily drop since November, 2016.

High inventories in China also weighed on the market.

"Soybean meal and domestic soybeans are expected to drop further on forecasts of a bumper harvest in the United States and Brazil's depreciating currency," said Pan Tiantian, analyst with Zheshang futures.

"Pressure from the fundamentals here is already huge, and now there's the African swine fever outbreaks. If the disease keeps spreading, it will have a bigger impact on the already weak demand for meals."

China has culled over 25,000 pigs after the country reported four African swine fever outbreaks in a month.

China's rapeseed meal futures fell 3.2 per cent to 2,339 yuan per tonne, their lowest in more than six months. REUTERS