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Soybeans Futures Historical Price Charts From 1960 to 2001

The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) is the primary exchange for tracking soybeans futures historical price.

Soybeans Are Traded In Many Futures Exchanges

In addition to CBOT, soybean futures trade on the following exchanges (albeit under different contract specs): The Dalian Commodity Exchange of China (DC); The Kansai Commodities Exchange in Japan (KEX); The Tokyo Grain Exchange in Japan (TGE); The National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange in India (NCDEX), and The South African Futures Exchange (SAFEX).

Major Source of Protein and Oil

Soybeans, which are native to the Far East and Pacific Rim, are a major staple source of protein and oil. Soybean seeds have been essential in China for over 5,000 years and is used for the manufacture of soy tofu, sauces, edamame, pastes, flour, milk, meat substitutes, infant formula, oil , plastics, and most significantly, livestock feed.

United States Is Major Soybean Producer

90 per cent of the world’s soybean production comes from the United States (almost 25%), followed by Brazil, Argentina, and then China and India. Due to its versatile range of applications beyond serving as a food source, soy is a very large component in American industrial chemical processing. Not surprisingly, Archer Daniels Midland is one of the world’s largest processors of soybeans.

Dow Chemical, DuPont and Monsanto are also major players, and they are all members of both the Soyfoods Association of North America and the United Soybean Board, which have successfully promoted a rise in soy product consumption in the last decade.

Examining Soybeans Futures Historical Price Charts

A soybeans futures chart for 2011 will show that soybean prices have held fairly steady, with prices staying within a 1350 to 1425 range into early September. Prior to 2011, prices had risen from a dramatic record low of near 810 near the end of 2008. Preceding this all time low was a record high of 1550 just six months earlier in July, 2008.

Like other crop commodities, soybeans are susceptible to word events, such as weather conditions, available land, and political or man-made circumstances, such as war, labor supply, or legislation.

Future Soybeans Price Outlook

Current news in autumn of 2011 indicates that some analysts are anticipating stronger crop harvests and resulting downward pressure on soybean futures prices going into the later autumn and early winter months. Therefore, it is not improbable that the precipitous drop in soybean prices recorded in 2008 could repeat in 2011. However, there are a number of other market elements that can affect soybean futures prices that a trader should bear in mind:

  • Currency devaluation. Although the US dollar has spiked in the wake of concerns over the European bailout of Greece and other problems in Europe, the dollar’s weakness will result in a net export increase, since the US is the world’s primary soybean producer and prices would become more attractive to foreign purchasers.
  • Biodiesel. As soybean oil is a key ingredient for the manufacture of biodiesel fuels, increased gasoline prices will spur demand for biodiesel as a more affordable option. Ethanol demand for more corn can also convince farmers to sow less soybeans. This would result in a rise of soybean futures prices, so oil futures prices can conceivably have a direct correlation to soybean futures prices due to the green energy initiative.
  • Medical Research. Although there are many advocates for human consumption of soy products as a healthier alternative to meat, new scientific studies have linked soy to cancer and to higher infant mortality risks.
  • Population Growth. Conversely, population growth in India, Africa and the Middle East are driving increased demand for food in those regions. Additionally, as China and India become more affluent nations, their increased living standards will proportionately drive up demand for meat products. As the bulk of global soybean production is used for livestock feed, this can indirectly force soybean prices upwards.
Standard Soybeans Contract
Symbol   ZS
Per Contract Size   5,000 bushels
Price Quotation   Cents per bushel
Minimum Price Fluctuation   1/4 of one cent per bushel ($12.50 per contract)
Termination of Trading   Trading terminates on the 15th calendar day of the contract month.
Mini Soybeans Contract
Symbol   XK
Per Contract Size   1,000 bushels
Price Quotation   Cents per bushel
Minimum Price Fluctuation   1/8 cent per bushel ($1.25 per contract)
Termination of Trading   Trading terminates on the 15th calendar day of the contract month.


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