Soybeans fell from a six-month high on speculation that a government report will show U.S. inventories rose and that farmers will plant more. Corn slid.
U.S. soybean reserves probably gained 9.8 percent to 1.371 billion bushels on March 1 from a year earlier, a Bloomberg News survey showed before the Department of Agriculture’s report on March 30. Farmers may increase planting 0.6 percent to 75.429 million acres, a separate survey showed. Prices have jumped 13 percent in 2012, heading for the biggest quarterly gain since the period ended Dec. 31, 2010.
“Farmers will plant more soybeans than people expect this year” because the rally improved the outlook for profit, Jacquie Voeks, a senior market adviser at West Bend, Wisconsin- based Stewart-Peterson Group, said in a telephone interview. “People are looking for larger U.S. supplies on March 1, reducing interest in holding” bets on higher prices, she said.
Soybean futures for May delivery dropped 0.7 percent to close at $13.6975 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Yesterday, the oilseed touched $13.885, the highest for a most-active contract since Sept. 14.
Prices have gained 3.8 percent this month on speculation that smaller global crops will increase demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest grower.
Global stockpiles of 10 oilseeds, including soybeans and rapeseed, will plunge 18 percent and production will fall to a three-year low as dry weather cuts output in South America, Oil World, a Hamburg-based researcher, said today. U.S. exporters sold 120,000 metric tons of soybeans to China for delivery after Aug. 31, the USDA said.
Corn futures for May delivery fell 1.1 percent to $6.3075 a bushel. This month, the price has dropped 4.1 percent.
The U.S. was the largest exporter of both crops in the year that ended Sept. 30, according to government estimates.
Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $76.5 billion in 2011, followed by soybeans at $35.8 billion, USDA figures show.
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