U.S. grains: Soybeans fall in profit-taking despite smaller USDA stocks outlook

(Lisa Guenther photo)

Chicago | Reuters –– U.S. soybeans fell more than one per cent on Wednesday, reversing a one-month high in a profit-taking sell-off following a U.S. Department of Agriculture report that showed smaller-than-expected ending stocks of beans.

Corn and wheat futures also eased at the Chicago Board of Trade, with corn hitting session lows in the minutes after the monthly supply and demand report was released at midday.

USDA pegged both soybean and corn ending stocks below analyst expectations amid strong soy export demand and increased domestic corn demand for sweeteners. The agency boosted world and domestic wheat stocks.

“I think it’s a ‘buy the rumour, sell the fact’ day, now that we got USDA acknowledging U.S. (soybean) exports are higher,” said Terry Reilly, analyst at Futures International.

CBOT January soybeans in an “outside day” on the charts shed 17-1/4 cents to $10.32 per bushel for their first decline in six sessions (all figures US$).

CBOT March corn was down 1-1/2 cents at $3.93-3/4 per bushel and CBOT March wheat was off four cents at $5.81-3/4, with each trimming losses late in the session.

Investment funds sold 9,000 soybean contracts, 4,000 wheat contracts and bought and sold equal amounts of corn, trade sources said.

Brazil’s government crop supply agency Conab also hiked its soy production estimate to a record 95.8 million tonnes, further pressuring futures.

“Between these (USDA) numbers and the (Conab) Brazilian numbers — which were huge, and might get bigger — the market is saying that we’ve got it covered,” Price Futures Group analyst Jack Scoville said of the soybean market.

Wheat was down for a second straight session, touching a 1-1/2-week low on waning concerns that Russia will restrict exports.

“Wheat is falling today because of relief that Russia does not seem to be intending to introduce wheat export restrictions,” said Frank Rijkers, agrifood economist at ABN AMRO Bank.

— Michael Hirtzer reports on crop commodity markets for Reuters from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Tom Polansek in Chicago, Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Colin Packham in Sydney.

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