U.S. grains: Soy dips as harvest expected to exceed forecasts

(Lisa Guenther photo)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures dipped Wednesday on expectations that autumn harvests will exceed government forecasts due to favourable weather, while new-crop corn bounced from a contract low set the previous session.

Forecasts for rain in some of the drier areas of the U.S. Midwest raised expectations that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will boost its soybean production forecast in the coming months.

Traders shrugged off lower-than-expected USDA estimates for soy and corn output, issued in a monthly report on Tuesday, saying that mild, wet weather has benefited crops. Farmers have reported gorgeous-looking plants in their fields.

“The trade seems worried the USDA has a lot further to go in regard to raising the U.S. corn yield,” said Kevin Van Trump, chief executive of Farm Direction, a consultancy based in Missouri.

Chicago Board of Trade November soybeans lost 1.2 per cent to $10.46-3/4 a bushel, after setting a contract low of $10.43 a bushel in the previous session (all figures US$).

If crop weather remains favourable, November soybeans will likely drop to $9.50 or lower by the middle of harvest, said Tomm Pfitzenmaier, an analyst with Summit Commodity Brokerage in Iowa.

December corn rose 0.2 per cent to $3.69-3/4 a bushel in a rebound from a contract low of $3.58 in the previous session.

USDA on Tuesday pegged the U.S. corn harvest at a record 14.032 billion bushels, below analysts’ estimates of 14.253 billion, and 2014-15 ending stocks at 1.808 billion bushels, below expectations of 2.005 billion.

“We believe that in the end, the corn carryout will end up over two billion bushels and that the supply of grains around the world will severely limit any rallies,” Pfitzenmaier said.

Traders waited for results from private crop tours spreading across the Midwest this month for clues on the size of the autumn harvests. Next week, participants on the annual Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour will survey hundreds of corn and soy fields.

CBOT wheat slumped for the fifth consecutive session due to large global supplies and spillover pressure from the corn market, traders said. December wheat shed one per cent to $5.45-1/2 a bushel.

Commodity funds sold an estimated 5,000 soybean contracts and 3,000 each of corn and wheat.

— Tom Polansek reports on ag commodity markets for Reuters from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus Trompiz in Paris.

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