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Soybeans Drop on Speculation U.S. Acreage Will Expand

February 21, 2013
Soybean field
  

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Soybeans fell in Chicago on speculation the U.S. government will forecast record planting this year, boosting prospects for global oilseed supplies. Corn and wheat dropped.

Farmers in the U.S. will probably sow a record 78.1 million acres of land with soybeans, almost doubling inventories before the 2014 harvest, according to the average estimate of 18 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is set to update its estimates on planting and supply at an annual forum that begins today.

"Prices are very lucrative for farmers to expand planting," Faiyaz Hudani, a Mumbai-based grains and oilseeds analyst at Kotak Commodity Services Ltd., said today. "That’s pressuring prices lower."

Soybeans for delivery in May slid 0.3 percent to $14.6425 a bushel at 6:53 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after rising 4.3 percent in the three prior sessions. Trading volume was 35 percent more than the 100-day average at that time of day.

Corn for delivery in May declined 0.4 percent to $6.9375 a bushel. U.S. farmers may seed 97.7 million acres with the grain, the highest since 1936, spurring record production of 13.863 billion bushels, according to the Bloomberg survey.

Wheat for delivery in May fell 0.6 percent to $7.41 a bushel. On NYSE Liffe, milling wheat for the same delivery month rose 0.3 percent to 239.25 euros ($315.48) a metric ton in Paris and feed wheat for delivery in May was unchanged at 207.75 pounds ($316.90) a ton in London, after gains in three of the last four sessions.

 

Most Since 1992

 

The U.K. imported more than 305,500 tons of wheat in December, the most for records dating to 1992, the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board said Feb. 19. The country, historically the European Union’s third-biggest wheat grower, may be a net importer for a second year after wet weather cut winter-crop planting last autumn, the AHDB’s Jack Watts said Feb. 13. France, the EU’s biggest grower, cut its condition ratings for soft-wheat crops on Feb. 15 after excess rain.

"There are big question marks over the state of the U.K. crop," Dave Norris, an independent grain broker in Harrogate, England, said in a telephone interview today. "Everyone seems pretty much certain that we’re going to have to be a big importer again in 2013-14. There’s a lot of talk about crops in France not looking great, particularly in northern and western parts."

 

--With assistance from Ranjeetha Pakiam in Kuala Lumpur. Editors: Dan Weeks, Sharon Lindores.

 

To contact the reporters on this story: Luzi Ann Javier in Singapore at ljavier@bloomberg.net; Whitney McFerron in London at wmcferron1@bloomberg.net.


 

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RELATED TOPICS: Soybeans, Marketing, Crops, drought

 
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