Soybeans plunge to near their lowest level in a decade

Scott Olson/Getty ImagesFarmer John Duffy and Roger Murphy load soybeans from a grain bin onto a truck

Soybean prices fell to a decade-low on Tuesday after data pointed to a quickly advancing US harvest and as the Trump administration escalated trade tensions with the China, the largest destination for American exports of the legume.

The legumes were trading at $US8.12 a bushel, near the lowest level since 2008, on the Chicago Board of Trade after President Donald Trump announced another round of tariffs on $US200 billion worth of Chinese imports. Beijing responded with retaliatory duties on $US60 billion worth of American imports.

China hit American soybeans with retaliatory import taxes in July after the Trump administration rolled out tariffs on $US50 billion worth of its goods. That country is the largest soybean customer in the world, using them in part to feed livestock. It imported nearly 60% of soybeans traded around the world in 2017.

Demand concerns come just after government data showed strong conditions for a record US harvest. A Department of Agriculture report out Monday said the soybean harvest was 6% complete, beating analyst expectations and doubling the five-year average.

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