Soybeans surge; focus turns to USDA data
U.S. soybean futures rose Tuesday, as traders brace for government crop reports that are expected to highlight a tight U.S. supply situation.
Chicago Board of Trade soybeans for May delivery finished up 10 1/2 cents, or 0.7%, at $14.47 3/4 a bushel.
Prices are climbing ahead of the U.S. Department of Agriculture quarterly grain stocks and prospective plantings reports that some analysts expect to forecast tighter U.S. supplies of soybeans.
"The market is rallying off recent declines, as people suspect the USDA's crop reports will be supportive," said Tim Hannagan, grain specialist with brokerage Alpari LLC in Chicago.
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Analysts expect soybean stocks as of March 1 to decline to 947 million bushels, down 31% from a year earlier, according to the average from a Dow Jones poll. That would mark the lowest March 1 soybean stocks since 2004. Robust export demand so far this year has fueled expectations for tight supplies.
The USDA is scheduled to release its quarterly grain stocks and prospective plantings forecasts Thursday at noon EDT. Grain traders will closely watch the figures, which could cause significant price swings in futures markets if they are above or below expected levels.
Buyers are also buying soybeans in fear that 2013 U.S. acreage won't be large enough to rebuild depleted U.S. supplies amid stout global demand. The USDA is expected to forecast record 2013 soybean plantings of 78.5 million acres, up from 77.2 million acres last year, according to the average expectation among polled analysts.
"Even though the acres are seen higher than last year, traders remain cautious since crop weather has not cooperated in the last two years," Mr. Hannagan said. "Traders remain cautious, and will continue to walk on hot coals through Thursday's reports."
Traders are concerned about the potential for increased U.S. export demand amid the long shipping delays facing buyers out of Brazilian ports. Grain merchants report export delays at Brazil's Paranagua port are about 57 days and at Santos port delays are about 30 days.
Corn futures ended lower, pressured by traders taking profits after recent gains and light positioning ahead of Thursday's crop reports. Market watchers said talk of Argentine corn being imported into Mobile, Ala., attracted light selling as well.
CBOT May corn ended down 3 cents, or 0.4%, at $7.30 1/4.
Wheat futures rose, supported by concerns about winter wheat crop conditions in the Great Plains and solid domestic demand for feed wheat.
May wheat futures ended up 4 1/4 cents, or 0.6%, at $7.31 1/2 a bushel at the CBOT. Kansas City Board of Trade May wheat rose 9 1/2 cents, or 1.3%, to $7.68 1/2 a bushel. MGEX May wheat finished up 5 1/4 cents, or 0.7%, at $8.10 1/2 a bushel.
Write to Andrew Johnson Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org
(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires
March 26, 2013 15:55 ET (19:55 GMT)
DJ UPDATE: Soybean Futures Rise; Traders Look Ahead to USDA Crop Reports->copyright
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