COMMODITIES: Ferruzzi's Big Pot of Beans

Ferruzzi's Big Pot of Beans

Clamor is the usual condition in commodities pits. Last week, however, the soy-bean trading floor of the Chicago Board of Trade erupted in pandemonium as the C.B.O.T. issued an emergency order, its first in a decade, that July futures contracts in excess of 1 million bu. be liquidated. In one day soybean-futures prices plunged 5%, to $6.86 per bu. Traders speculated that a single buyer was trying to corner the market or drive up prices. The suspected culprit: Ferruzzi Finanziaria, Italy's second largest privately held company and the third largest U.S. soybean processor since it bought Indiana-based Central Soya in 1987.

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