CHICAGO (Dow Jones)--U.S. soybean futures were expected to open slightly lower Monday as strength in the U.S. dollar pressures prices.

Analysts project soybeans to open 1 cent to 2 cents lower on the Chicago Board of Trade. In overnight trading, the January future, the most active contract, was up 1/2 cent at $13.00 3/4 a bushel.

The strength of the U.S. dollar was seen pressuring futures prices, as the higher dollar makes U.S. exports less attractive to foreign importers.

The dollar climbed on a worsening European credit situation, with the greenback seen as a "safe haven" for investors until a rescue plan can be finalized for some European nations, said Dan Basse, president AgResource Company in a morning market note.

Yet limiting downside price pressure is the threat of dryness in Argentina crop areas cutting the country's soybean output. Large production is being counted on from South America to counter robust global demand.

Brazil and Argentina are the world's second and third largest producers of soybeans behind the U.S. and are counted on to relieve the strain on U.S. supplies in the spring of 2011.

Some light showers have moved through Argentina crop areas from time to time, but many more areas have missed out on this activity, a Telvent DTN weather forecast said.

Prices are also expected to receive support from strong export demand. Soybean futures reached 26-month highs last month on worries strong demand from China, the world's largest soybean importer, was draining supplies.

U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday announced that private exporters reported the sale of 171,000 metric tons of soybeans to China for delivery in the current marketing year, and a sale of 55,000 tons of soybeans to China for delivery in 2011-12 marketing year.

Soy product futures are seen starting mixed. Soyoil is supported by strength in world vegoil markets amid strong global demand.

USDA reported the sale of 20,000 metric tons of soyoil Monday to an unknown destination for delivery in the current marketing year.

-By Andrew Johnson Jr.; Dow Jones Newswires; 312-347-4604; andrew.johnsonjr@dowjones.com