Soybeans lead grains lower Monday
U.S. soybean futures fell to a three-week closing low Monday, pressured by negative technical signals and follow-through selling after a government crop report on Friday disappointed traders.
Chicago Board of Trade March soybean futures settled down 21 cents, or 1.4%, at $14.31 1/2 a bushel, the lowest settlement since Jan. 18.
March soybeans had fallen to a one-week low on Friday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a monthly crop report with mixed forecasts for the oilseed. The USDA's forecast for domestic soybean stockpiles was lower than expected, but its forecast for world soybean stocks was greater than expected.
Follow-through selling emerged Monday, and technical selling by speculative market participants also drove prices lower.
March soybeans on Friday dropped to settle below both their 100-day and 200-day moving averages, a negative technical signal that sparked further selling on Monday.
A weekly export-related report also weighed on soybeans. Officials inspected or weighed for export 30.15 million bushels of soybeans in the week through Thursday, USDA data showed Monday. Analysts had expected inspections of 40 million to 48 million bushels.
Both soybean and corn futures were pressured by a refocus on expectations for U.S. farmers to harvest large crops this fall, replenishing depleted supplies.
The U.S. will produce 14.435 billion bushels of corn this year, the USDA said in its first forecast for this year. That would be up 34% from production of 10.78 billion bushels last year.
Ending stocks for the 2013-14 marketing year are forecast at 2.067 billion bushels, up from the USDA's separate recent forecast of 632 million bushels for the 2012-13 marketing year.
U.S. farmers are now expected to produce 3.335 billion bushels of soybeans this year, up from about 3 billion in 2012.
The forecasts are part of the USDA's annual 10-year forecast and come with a disclaimer that USDA officials put together the predictions months ago, during the final three months of 2012.
March corn futures Monday fell 6 3/4 cents, or 1.0%, to $7.02 1/4 a bushel.
Wheat was pulled lower by soybeans and corn. Traders also remain concerned about weak export demand for U.S. wheat, and technical signals for the grain are negative.
CBOT March wheat fell 14 3/4 cents, or 2.0%, to $7.41 1/2 a bushel. KCBT March wheat fell 11 cents, or 1.4%, to $7.88 3/4 a bushel. MGEX March wheat fell 10 1/4 cents, or 1.2%, to $8.26 a bushel.