Chicago | Reuters — Chicago soybean futures slid on Friday, pressured by declines in soyoil and funds squaring positions ahead of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s grain stocks and planting intentions reports due March 31, traders said.
Corn and wheat rebounded from prior day losses, but failed to end the week higher.
The most-active soybean futures contract on the Chicago Board of Trade ended 13-3/4 cents lower at $14.00-1/2 per bushel (all figures US$).
CBOT wheat futures added 3/4 cent to $6.13-1/4 per bushel while corn gained six cents to $5.52-1/2 per bushel.
CBOT soybean oil futures pulled soybeans lower as the May oil contract dropped 2.5 cents/lb. to a 2-1/2 week low, though it remains near a contract high set this week.
“Bean oil looks like it’s in a correction phase,” said Tom Fritz, commodity broker at EFG Group, noting demand for soyoil could remain strong. “Soybean use for biodiesel is the best it’s ever been.”
Looking ahead to USDA’s planting intentions and quarterly grain stocks, Bill Lapp, ag economist at Advanced Economic Solutions, said he was more focused on the grain stocks than acreage estimates.
“We can measure this crop better once it’s in the bin than when its in the field,” he said.
Analysts estimate farmers will plant 93.208 million acres of corn, 89.996 million acres of soybeans and 44.971 million acres of wheat in 2021, according to a Reuters poll.
Wheat rebounded from a three-month low overnight, though continued moisture across the U.S. Plains as well as in Russia is likely to boost production prospects in the two major exporting nations.
As the price spread between wheat and corn narrows, wheat becomes a more attractive feeding option for animal producers, said Mark Schultz, chief analyst at Northstar Commodity.
“Wheat’s going into feed ration, at the expense of corn,” Schultz said. “Wheat maybe starts getting some support, because of demand coming in.”
— Christopher Walljasper reports on agriculture and ag commodities for Reuters from Chicago.