U.S. grains: Soy dives on chart selling, bearish supply view

(Lisa Guenther photo)

Chicago | Reuters –– U.S. soybean futures fell to a two-month low on Thursday on chart-based selling and fund liquidation following a monthly U.S. government report that showed rising global soy supplies, traders said.

Corn firmed, gaining against soybeans on spreads, but wheat set a 3-1/2 month low.

At the Chicago Board of Trade, July soybeans ended down 30-1/4 cents at $14.15-1/4 per bushel after hitting $14.10, the lowest spot price since March 24 (all figures US$).

Selling accelerated as July soybeans dropped below $14.40 and July soymeal below $480 per short ton.

“July beans needed to hold $14.40. I thought if July meal went below $480, it would attract a bunch of technical selling, and that is what is happening,” Tom Fritz, a partner at EFG Group in Chicago, said of the market’s plunge.

The moves came a day after the U.S. Agriculture Department raised its forecast for global 2014-15 soy ending stocks to 82.88 million tonnes, from 82.23 million in May, and up from 67.17 million in 2013-14.

Those increases overshadowed USDA cutting its forecast for U.S. 2013-14 end-stocks to 125 million bushels, a 10-year low.

Traders also cited softening cash values and expectations that USDA might raise its plantings estimate in a June 30 report. USDA currently estimates U.S. soybean plantings at a record-high 81.5 million acres.

“I have started to hear more chatter about the idea that… the USDA is expected to raise bean acres in some areas of the Corn Belt,” said Mike Zuzolo of Global Commodity Analytics.

CBOT corn firmed a day after falling to a four-month low. The market drew support from commodity funds exiting long soy/short corn spread positions, Fritz said.

Plentiful world corn supplies continued to hang over the market, limiting gains, along with optimal crop weather in the Midwest that has raised prospects for a bumper harvest.

July corn ended up three cents at $4.44 a bushel.

Wheat continued to grind lower ahead of the start of a big Northern Hemisphere harvest, with the spot July contract down four cents at $5.85-1/4 a bushel after touching $5.84-3/4, the lowest spot price since Feb. 28.

The contract has fallen more than 20 per cent since notching a 10-month high at $7.44 on May 6, dragged down by ample world wheat supplies and stiff competition for export business.

— Julie Ingwersen is a Reuters correspondent covering crop commodity markets from Chicago.

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