Soybean Contract Specs:
Soybeans are one of the most active and popular commodities to trade. Soybeans are crushed to produce two main products - soybean oil and soybean meal. The oil is used in a extensive list of products and the meal is primarily used in animal feed. The U.S. is the largest producer of soybeans and they are mainly grown throughout the Midwest.
There are several reports from the USDA that are helpful in your research and trading of soybean futures and options.
- Prospective Plantings - The first main report at the beginning of the soybean growing season, released around the end of March. It summarizes how much and which crops the farmers expect to plant for the upcoming season.
- Monthly Crop Production - Released around the 10th of each month. The report gives an updated estimate of supply and demand for soybeans.
- Grain Stocks - Provides information on the current supply of soybeans and other grains in the U.S. and the world.
Tips on Trading Soybeans:
- The summer months will be the most active and volatile. Monitor the weather in the Midwest for excessive heat or floods.
- Monthly crop reports are a big market mover. Watch how the market reacts to the reports. Be cautious if the market moves lower on a bullish report.
- Keep antacids nearby. The market can be a roller coaster during the summer and emotions can control the markets.
- Avoid buying expensive options when the market is very volatile. Traders can bid prices to levels that may be sucker bets.
- Don't over-analyze, it is just supply and demand that moves soybean prices and every other market.