Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures firmed on Friday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) forecast domestic supplies of the oilseed would remain historically tight into 2022 despite its projection for a record-large harvest this autumn.
Corn futures were mixed, with nearby contracts slipping from earlier highs on profit-taking ahead of the weekend, while wheat futures fell as traders banked some of the prior session’s strong gains.
Traders focused on USDA’s latest crop supply and demand projections released during its annual Ag Outlook Forum, which included the agency’s first supply estimate for the upcoming crop.
U.S. stockpiles of corn and soybeans are expected to increase only slightly by the end of the 2021-22 marketing year on Aug. 31, 2022, as strong demand was seen absorbing record-large harvests of the crops that will be planted this spring.
“The USDA really stoked up the demand to offset those record crops. That kind of a demand increase is really going to be a push,” said Mike Zuzolo, president of Global Commodity Analytics.
Soybean futures’ gains were partly offset by slowing U.S. export demand as the South American harvest continues to ramp up, while corn futures were pressured by an improving outlook for Brazil’s crop this year.
Chicago Board of Trade March soybeans rose 2-1/4 cents to $13.77-1/4 per bushel, posting a 0.4 per cent weekly gain (all figures US$). Several deferred contracts posted life-of-contract highs, and benchmark new-crop November futures came within a penny of a fresh high.
March corn settled 7-1/2 cents lower at $5.42-3/4 a bushel, ended up 0.7 per cent in the week. New-crop December gained 3/4 cent to $4.60 a bushel, one of several deferred months that posted new contract highs.
CBOT March wheat touched a 3-1/2 week high but ended down 11-3/4 cents at $6.50-3/4 a bushel. Still, the contract was up 2.2 per cent in the week.
— Reporting for Reuters by Karl Plume in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.