Soybeans soar after USDA slashes US plantings estimate - CBOT

Corn tumbles
calendar icon 2 July 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

US soybean futures surged about 6% on Friday after the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported much lower-than-expected 2023 soy plantings and June 1 inventories, while corn futures tumbled on larger-than-expected acreage, reported Reuters.

Wheat futures fell in sympathy with corn, despite a smaller-than-expected quarterly stocks figure.

As of 12:30 p.m. CDT (1730 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) November soybeans were up 77-1/4 cents at $13.43 per bushel. December corn was down 20 cents at $5.08-1/2 a bushel and September wheat was down 11-1/2 cents at $6.56 a bushel.

Soybean futures soared after the USDA said US farmers planted 83.5 million acres of the oilseed, down 4 million acres from the government's March forecast and below the lowest in a range of analyst estimates. The smaller acreage implies smaller new-crop supplies of the oilseed.

"For beans, if the yield falls to 50 (bushels per acre), instead of the expected 52, then that's tight, really tight," said Craig Turner, commodities trader at Daniels Trading.

Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist for StoneX added: "The margin for error for soybeans just went to zero."

The USDA reported US soybean stockpiles as of June 1 at 796 million bushels, down 18% from a year ago and below most trade estimates.

For corn, the USDA's plantings estimate of 94.1 million acres was up more than 2 million acres from its March forecast and topped the range of analysts' pre-report estimates. Coupled with rains crossing Iowa and Illinois on Friday, the data pointed toward a larger corn crop and renewed questions about demand for the yellow grain.

"The corn number was bad. We're getting rain, and the demand is poor," Turner said.

The USDA reported June 1 corn stockpiles at 4.106 billion bushels, below most trade estimates, while June 1 wheat stocks fell to 580 million bushels, the lowest for this time of year since 2008.

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