Soybeans fell in Chicago on speculation the U.S. Department of Agriculture will raise its harvest estimate for 2013. Wheat slipped as snow cover is expected to shield part of the country’s crop from extreme cold.
The USDA may raise its estimate for national soybean production to 3.28 billion bushels in the Jan. 10 final estimates report at noon in Washington, from 3.26 billion bushels, based on a survey of 30 analysts by Bloomberg News.
"Expectations for U.S. and global inventories for corn and soybeans to be revised higher this month do paint a bearish picture for prices," said Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. "An upgrade to U.S. soybean production, combined with a modest improvement in South American production prospects, does suggest that global oilseed supplies will be at relatively comfortable levels."
Soybeans for delivery in March lost 0.3 percent to $12.725 a bushel by 7:35 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade.
Global stocks of the oilseed may be higher at 71.46 million metric tons from a government forecast of 70.62 million tons in December, while corn reserves are seen at 163.08 million tons from 162.46 million tons, a Bloomberg News survey of 15 analysts and trading firms showed.
Wheat for delivery in March fell 0.4 percent to $6.035 a bushel after touching a two week-high yesterday on concern cold weather might damage crops in the U.S., the world’s top exporter of the grain. Milling wheat for the same delivery month traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris slid 0.4 percent to 201.75 euros ($274.98) a ton.
Potential winterkill damage to wheat was limited to southern Indiana and Ohio and northern Kentucky, with limited snow cover for about 5 percent of the soft red winter-wheat area, Commodity Weather Group wrote in a report today.
"Record cold temperatures in the States will need to be monitored, but overall, hard red winter and soft wheat areas have sufficient snow-cover protection," U.K. grain trader Gleadell Agriculture wrote in a market comment today.
Corn for delivery in March was unchanged at $4.2775 a bushel in Chicago. U.S. stockpiles of the grain were seen at 1.86 billion bushels from 1.79 billion bushels, a separate survey of as many as 30 analysts showed.