February 17, 2009

US '09 soy plantings seen to rise by 2 million hectares

US soy plantings in 2009 are estimated to rise by around 2 million hectares from 30.2 million sown last year on firm demand and steady prices, commodities research firm LMC International said on Monday (Feb 16).


LMC's head of grains research Simon Bentley said soy valuations are on the rise which may be eating into corn acres and costs of corn are looking relatively expensive.


The corn area is likely to fall by about a million hectares from 31.8 million hectares planted in 2008 on slack global demand while wheat plantings in 2009/10 are expected to be lower by about 2.5 million hectares from 22.5 million a year ago.


USDA said farmers will plant more acres of corn this year and less soy in a long-term outlook released on Thursday (Feb 12), but traders said market prospects now favour soy plantings.


Based on economic conditions between October and December, the USDA projected 2009 corn plantings of 35.6 million hectares of corn, up 2.3 percent from last year, and soy plantings would drop about 2.2 percent to 29.9 million hectares.