December 13, 2011


US soy, corn, wheat prices fall



US soy prices decreased 2.6% to a 14-month low, wheat dipped to a five-month low and corn fell more than 1% on Friday (Dec 9) after a government outlook exceeded expectations for major US grains supplies.   


"There is nothing here that is bullish," said an analyst with The Linn Group in Chicago.   


Both US soy and wheat exports will slow in the face of record-setting grain crops around the world and an upturn in the global soy harvest, the US government said in its December supply and demand report.


The USDA forecast the supply of US soy ending stocks to rise to 230 million bushels, above trade estimates for 214 million bushels and above the November forecast for 195 million bushels.


The stocks increase came from reductions in USDA's forecasts of US 2011/12 soy exports and the domestic soy crush. The USDA also raised the 2011/12 global soy carryout to 64.54 million tonnes, from 63.56 million in November.


USDA pegged 2011/12 US wheat ending stocks at 878 million bushels, above trade estimates for 830 million bushels and up from the November forecast of 828 million bushels The USDA also raised its forecast 2011/12 corn stocks to 848 million bushels, above trade estimates for 831 million bushels and above the November forecast for 843 million bushels. Traders had expected USDA to cut corn supply estimates slightly due to rising feed use and a lacklustre harvest. Corn prices have already fallen by more than 15% over the last three months.   


An analyst at Country Hedging said wheat prices were hammered as the report underscored that weaker wheat exports are tied to stiffer competition seen from Australia and Argentina.   


"When their production goes up you have to reduce US numbers. Nothing positive there," he said.   


The spot CBOT wheat contract hit its lowest level since July 1 in early moves, sliding to US$5.68-1/4 and closed down US$0.0325 at US$5.73-1/2. The benchmark CBOT March wheat futures contract ended down US$0.01 at US$$5.96 a bushel.


CBOT March corn closed down US$0.06 at US$5.94-1/4 a bushel.    


CBOT January soy ended down US$0.255, or 2.3%, at US$11.07 a bushel after bottoming out at US$11.00-1/4, the lowest level since October 8, 2010, earlier in the session.    


The market also continued to be pressured by doubts about whether a summit of EU leaders would produce a significant breakthrough to solve a two-year-old debt crisis that could limit demand for agricultural commodities.   


Europe divided in a historic rift on Friday over building a closer fiscal union to preserve the euro, with a large majority of countries led by Germany and France agreeing to forge ahead with a separate treaty, leaving Britain isolated.

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