Soybeans, copper futures drop on China slowdown

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Soybean futures are sharply lower following news of a slowdown in Chinese trade.

The actively traded May contract for soybeans fell 39 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $14.19 a bushel Monday.

China is a major buyer of U.S. soybeans, and any hint of a slowdown there tends to push prices of the crop lower.

China reported over the weekend that its exports slumped 18 percent last month, far more than economists were expecting.

The report also sent copper prices lower since China is also a big importer of the industrial metal. Copper for delivery in May fell 5 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $3.03 a pound.

Energy futures closed mostly lower. Crude oil fell $1.46 to $101.12 a barrel.

Gold edged up $3.30 to $1,341.50 an ounce.

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