U.S. grains: Soybeans slip on big harvest views, spreading against corn

Reuters — Soybeans slipped on Wednesday on rising expectations of a huge U.S. harvest and spread trading against corn.

Corn rose on short-covering ahead of a key U.S. government crop report, while technical buying bolstered Chicago wheat.

Spread trading between corn and soybeans accelerated soybeans’ declines, as the trade assumed corn may not see as big a production increase this year, said Mike Zuzolo, president of Global Commodity Analytics.

Corn and soybeans, which are used to produce biofuels as well as for food and other purposes, were also pressured by a more than one per cent drop in crude oil. Concerns about rain delaying the harvest in the southern Midwest also affected prices.

“You’re getting more influence from outside markets and they’re offsetting the continued problematic weather forecasts for harvest activity,” Zuzolo said.

November soybeans fell 0.6 per cent, or 5-3/4 cents, to $9.35 a bushel (all figures US$). December corn gained 0.8 per cent, or 2-3/4 cents, to $3.43-1/4 a bushel.

Chicago Board of Trade December wheat added 0.3 per cent, or 1-1/2 cents, to $5.07-3/4 a bushel after rising earlier in the day to a four-week high.

Traders adjusted positions ahead of a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report on global supply and demand for grains and oilseeds due Friday.

Analysts polled by Reuters forecast the USDA on Friday will estimate this year’s U.S. corn crop at a record 14.506 billion bushels.

Crop forecaster Lanworth raised its forecasts for U.S. 2014 corn and soybean production on Wednesday, citing favorable satellite imagery.

Lanworth, a unit of Thomson Reuters, raised its U.S. corn production estimate to 14.647 billion bushels from 14.596 billion. Lanworth raised its forecast for soybean production to 3.947 billion bushels, from 3.88 billion.

Wheat is also amply supplied, but quality downgrades resulting from wet weather in some top exporters, including the U.S. and France, have underpinned prices. Slowing exports from Russia have added support.

— Rod Nickel is a Reuters correspondent based in Winnipeg. Additional reporting for Reuters by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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