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Soybeans fall, snap winning streak on disappointing biofuel levels

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WINNIPEG — Chicago soybeans fell on Thursday, snapping five days of gains as soybean oil sold off sharply after the U.S. government proposed smaller-than-expected biofuels blending requirements.

Wheat slid on disappointing export sales, while soybean weakness dragged corn lower.

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The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) settled down 39-3/4 cents or 2.7% to $14.29-3/4 per bushel after climbing to its highest level since Sept. 21 on Wednesday.

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Front-month December soyoil, in delivery mode, plunged 9%. Most-active contracts fell their daily limit.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed smaller increases than traders expected in the amount of ethanol and other biofuels that oil refiners must blend into their fuel over the next three years.

Production of renewable diesel, which can be made from soyoil, is growing, “but not at the unrealistic pace expected by fund managers,” said Arlan Suderman, StoneX chief commodities economist.

Soyoil also was vulnerable to selling because it had built a big premium over palm oil, and because funds held long positions, said Jim Gerlach, president of A/C Trading.

“(Soy) oil, which has been the shining star for quite some time, is taking it on the chin.”

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Soybeans and wider commodity markets had been buoyed by signs China was softening its tone on COVID-19 rules after rare public protests in the world’s second-largest economy.

CBOT wheat shed 12-1/2 cents to settle at $7.83 per bushel amid tough competition from Russian and Black Sea supplies, and corn gave up 6-1/2 cents to settle at $6.60-1/2 per bushel.

The U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) said export sales of wheat totalled 162,500 tonnes in the week ended Nov. 24, below the low end of analysts’ forecasts that ranged from 300,000 to 725,000 tonnes.

USDA reported weekly corn export sales of 632,700. The market had expected 475,000 to 1.1 million tonnes. (Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Julie Ingwersen and Mark Weinraub in Chicago, Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu, Uttaresh.V, Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Mark Porter and David Gregorio)

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