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Natural Gas Seeks Direction: Market Bits

Chinese commodity trade data shows that soybean imports fell 13% year-over-year to 3.5 million tons in March, but rose 51% month-over-month from the February low. ANZ Commodity Research wrote that the drop was attributable to a price freeze on soy oil retail prices from December to March, placing crushing mills at a disadvantage as margins diminished and soybean wholesale prices rose.

The ANZ report said the government supplied subsidies of 335 kilotons of soybeans and 450 kilotons of canola oil to four major crushing mills at a discount of 13% to 14%, but they accounted for less than one month of mill demand. "Due to the squeeze in margins, mills ran down their stocks and held off from placing new orders for soybean imports. Industry sources suggested that the price freeze would be extended with a second round of supply of subsidized soybeans and canola oil."

Fertilizer producer Intrepid Potash (IPI) was down 0.3% to $33.89, farm equipment maker Deere (DE) was dipping 1.8% to $93.29 and oilseeds transporter Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) was down 0.5% to $35.39.

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-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

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Copyright 2011 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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