U.S. grains: Soybeans, wheat extend gains after planting forecasts

(Scott Bauer photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Reuters — U.S. soybean and wheat futures rose on Friday as estimates of smaller-than-expected U.S. plantings spurred buying.

Corn bounced off a 9-1/2-month low to finish up on bargain-buying.

Chicago Board of Trade May soybeans rose 7-1/2 cents or 0.9 per cent to $9.18-1/4 a bushel, racking up a fifth straight weekly gain (all figures US$).

Some investors bought soybean futures and sold corn following Thursday’s U.S. government report. It put soybean seedings at 82.236 million acres, which would be the third-highest ever, but below the average trade forecast.

“I don’t think that (corn-soy trade) is going to last long, maybe another week, 10 days,” said Bill Gary, president of Commodity Information Systems. “The problem is, even with this acreage, we’ve got too many beans.”

Rising soyoil prices also boosted soybeans.

CBOT May wheat futures added 2-1/4 cents or 0.1 per cent at $4.75-3/4 a bushel, registering a 2.8 per cent weekly gain.

U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Thursday that all-wheat seedings would be a smaller-than-expected 49.559 million acres.

Extended weather outlooks showed a chance for needed precipitation in dry portions of the southwestern U.S. Great Plains, where hard red winter wheat plants were developing.

May corn tacked on 2-1/2 cents or 0.6 per cent at $3.54 a bushel, bouncing from an earlier low of $3.47-1/4, which was the weakest price for the most-active contract since June 15.

Corn recorded a weekly loss of 4.3 per cent, its biggest since July.

USDA reported that U.S. farmers are planning to boost corn seedings by 6.4 per cent to 93.601 million acres, the third-highest level since 1944.

Some dealers, however, noted the USDA survey reflected intentions in the first half of March, and the recent decline in prices may have diminished their appetite to plant the crop.

“Some market participants believe that the corn acreage will ultimately turn out to be smaller than that forecast by the USDA yesterday,” Commerzbank said in market note.

Rod Nickel is a Reuters correspondent based in Winnipeg. Additional reporting for Reuters by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago, Nigel Hunt in London, Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Michael Hogan in Hamburg.



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