Soybeans swung between gains and drops in Chicago amid speculation the U.S. harvest will slow after wet weather in the Midwest, leaving crops vulnerable to yield losses or damage from cold in the next few weeks.
Rain in the past week topped 1 inch in areas of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota, National Weather Service data show. Eleven percent of the soybean harvest was complete as of Sept. 29, according to the most recent Department of Agriculture data before the U.S. government shutdown. Brazil, the world’s biggest exporter, is starting to plant soybean crops while some areas experience dry weather, Hamburg-based researcher Oil World said Oct. 1.
"There is potential risk to the upside for soybean prices," Chris Gadd, an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd., said in an e-mailed report. "The market will need to add a level of risk premium to reflect the uncertainty that remains for U.S. production and the delays to plantings being seen in Brazil."
Soybeans for delivery in November slipped 0.1 percent to $12.94 a bushel at 5:44 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The oilseed erased a gain of as much as 0.8 percent to $13.05, the highest since Sept. 30.
Informa Economics Inc. in Memphis, Tennessee, cut its harvest forecast last week by 1.5 percent to 3.176 billion bushels, partly as crop conditions fell. Analysts in a Bloomberg survey predicted a 3.161 billion-bushel crop, more than the USDA’s estimate last month of 3.149 billion. The USDA’s scheduled update of estimates on Oct. 11 may be delayed by the federal government’s partial shutdown that began Oct. 1.
Corn production in the U.S., the world’s biggest grower, may be 13.836 billion bushels, the highest on record while below the USDA’s last estimate of 13.843 billion, Bloomberg’s survey showed. Stockpiles of 1.936 billion bushels may be larger than the government’s past forecast of 1.855 billion, analysts said.
Corn for delivery in December rose 0.1 percent to $4.435 a bushel. Last week the grain touched $4.35, the lowest for a most-active contract since August 2010.
Wheat for delivery in December climbed 0.4 percent to $6.90 a bushel. The grain rose for a third week last week, the longest run of advances in a year, as excess rain reduced winter-crop planting in Ukraine and Russia. Milling wheat for delivery in November gained 0.3 percent to 195 euros ($265) a metric ton on NYSE Liffe in Paris.