imageCHICAGO: US soybean futures fell 1.7 percent to a six-week low on Thursday after a closely watched report showed that US processors used fewer beans than expected in December.

Forecasts for good weather in key crop producing areas of Brazil and Argentina added further pressure to the market.

The National Oilseed Processors Association said that US processors crushed 165.383 million bushels of soybeans in December, the second-highest monthly crush rate on record but less than analysts were expecting.

The NOPA report also weighed on soymeal prices, which crumbled 2.6 percent to their lowest level since Oct. 20.

Weakness in the cash market added to the bearish tone hanging over soymeal futures. Processors slashed their basis offers for soymeal on Thursday after last-minute deliveries against the expiring Chicago Board of Trade January soymeal contract illustrated the easy availability of supplies.

Soyoil futures firmed on the unwinding of some long soymeal/short soyoil spreads. NOPA’s monthly data confirmed that the soybeans from the record US harvest were producing a low soyoil yield, which threatened to cut into the soyoil stockpile.

Informa Economics cut its forecast for 2015 US soybean plantings to 88.03 million acres from 88.78 million. It also projected a crop of 3.9 billion bushels, based on an average yield of 44.9 bushels per acre.

Copyright Reuters, 2015