March 15 (Bloomberg) -- Soybean futures fell, capping the longest slump in a month, on speculation that a quickening harvest in Brazil will erode demand for U.S. exports. Wheat dropped, while corn rose.
Brazil’s soybean harvest was 48 percent complete as of March 8, compared with 46 percent a year earlier, Safras & Mercado, a Porto Alegre, Brazil-based research company, said this week. The National Oilseed Processors Association cut the so-called crush in February from a year earlier. Analysts forecast a 4.6 percent increase.
"Soybean harvesting is moving ahead quickly, and that means more shipments headed to overseas customers," Roy Huckabay, an executive vice president for the Linn Group in Chicago. "The smaller U.S. crushing pace last month was a surprise and underscores a shift away from the U.S."
Soybean futures for May delivery fell 0.7 percent to close at $14.26 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price dropped for the fourth straight day, the longest slump since Feb. 12. This week, the oilseed fell 3.1 percent, the most since Jan. 4.
Wheat halted the longest rally since July on speculation that a rebound in global output will reduce demand for supplies from the U.S., the biggest shipper.
Soft-wheat production in the European Union may rise 2.6 percent to 127.77 million metric tons, Coceral, the Brussels- based industry lobby, said today. SovEcon raised its Russian grain-crop forecast to as high as 89 million tons from a peak of 87 million last month. A year earlier, output was 70.9 million.
Wheat futures for May delivery dropped 0.2 percent to $7.23 a bushel in Chicago. The price rose in the previous six sessions. This week, the grain climbed 3.7 percent, the most in two months.
Corn futures for May delivery rose 0.1 percent to $7.17 a bushel. This week, the price advanced 1.9 percent.
In the U.S., corn is the biggest crop, followed by soybeans, hay and wheat, USDA data show.
--Editors: Patrick McKiernan, Thomas Galatola