Wednesday, 18 March 2015 01:43
CHICAGO: US soybean futures sagged 1.5 percent to their lowest in almost five months on Tuesday, with export demand for US supplies fading amid the expanding harvest in Argentina and Brazil, traders said.
“The fundamentals are not friendly here; the South American crops are coming in with good yields,” Charlie Sernatinger, global head of grain futures at ED&F Man Capital, said in a note to clients.
“We need a reason to spark some short covering, and I don’t see one yet,” he added.
Corn and wheat futures also notched sharp declines. Poor export demand weighed on corn while wheat shrugged off concerns about dry weather in the US Plains as investors locked in profits after prices hit two-week highs during overnight trading.
Traders said the huge domestic stockpiles of all three commodities will continue to anchor prices until a closely watched US Agriculture Department report at the end of the month shifts the focus to expectations for the next marketing year.
“We really do not have anything new to trade on until we get this planting intentions report,” said Dewey Strickler, president of grain consultancy Ag Watch Market Advisers. “I think the story is that we have ample supplies.”
Chicago Board of Trade May corn futures fell 8 cents to $ 3.71 a bushel. The new-crop December contract was 7-1/2 cents lower at $ 3.96-3/4 a bushel, falling below the key $ 4-a-bushel level.
China, the world’s second-largest corn consumer, has booked over 600,000 tonnes of corn from Ukraine this year and more deals from the Black Sea are expected as Beijing’s stockpiling dries up supplies and boosts domestic prices.
CBOT soybean futures for May delivery ended down 14-3/4 cents at $ 9.54-1/2 a bushel.
Expectations of a surge in US soy plantings in the coming weeks added to the pressure hanging over the market.
“Surveys of farmers suggest that acreage has been significantly expanded, whereas the USDA actually estimated a marginal decline,” Commerzbank said in a market note.
Commerzbank also said the recent weakness of Brazil’s real currency had also increased the competitiveness of the country’s soybean exports against rival US supplies.
CBOT May wheat was 10-1/2 cents lower at $ 5.03-1/2 a bushel.
The US Agriculture Department said on Monday afternoon that Kansas winter wheat was rated 41 percent good to excellent, down from 46 percent in the previous week. Ratings for Oklahoma winter wheat fell 2 percentage points to 40 percent good to excellent.
Copyright Reuters, 2015