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Grain futures fall following USDA report

U.S. grain futures were mixed on Thursday, but eventually marked losses following USDAs report.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, soybeans futures for July delivery traded at $15.3138 a bushel at 11:38 GMT, down 0.56% on the day. Prices ranged between days low at $15.2938 and high at $15.4350. Soybeans reached a seven-month high of $15.5850 after the USDA left its domestic soybean stocks projection unchanged at 265 million bushels, while market anticipations were for an increase to 273 million. The agency left its U.S. crop output projection unchanged.

The USDA reported on Monday that 71% of the U.S. soybeans crop was planted as of June 9, compared to 57% in the preceding week. This is well below last year’s 97% during the same week and the five-year average of 84%. According to USDA’s report, 48% of the crop has emerged, 17% above the preceding week’s figure. This is also lower than last year’s 88% and the five-year average 67$ figure.

Soybean prices found support lately as increased demand dried up inventories and slower planting was reported. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, soybeans inventories in the U.S. will drop 26% to 125 million bushels before this year’s harvest. This is the lowest level since nine years. U.S. exporters have already sold 36.62 million metric tons of the 36.74 government prediction.

Meanwhile corn futures for July delivery traded 0.13% lower on the day and stood at $6.5013 a bushel at 12:31 GMT. Prices ranged between days low at $6.4913 and high at $6.5288 a bushel.

In its weekly crop progress report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Monday that 95% of the nation’s corn crop was planted as of the week ending June 9, compared to 91% in the preceding week. This is lower than the same time last year when 100% of the crop was planted and is also below the five-year average of 98%. According to USDA’s report, 7% of the corn crop fell in the “Very poor” and “Poor” condition categories and 30% was assessed as “Fair”, which shows improvement compared to last year when 8% was “Very poor” and “Poor” and 26% “Fair”. As of last week 63% of the corn crop was of “Good” and “Excellent” quality, slightly lower than last year’s 66%.

The USDA said U.S. corn stockpiles before the 2014 harvest will total 1.949 billion bushels, well above market projections of 1.829 billion. This falls U.S. harvest will also exceed the 13.82 billion bushels expectations and will total 14.005 billion.

Elsewhere on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, wheat futures for July delivery traded 0.16% lower, standing at $6.8113 a bushel at 12:44 GMT. Prices ranged between days low at $6.7988 and high of $6.8388. Wheat futures fell to a three-week low of $6.7912 on Wednesday as the USDA said wheat reserves will exceed the 655 million bushels market expectations and total 659 million bushels. U.S. wheat output is also forecast to surpass market projections.

Wheat prices kept being pressured as favorable crop conditions in the Black Sea region suggested an increased supply from Russia and Ukraine. Also, according to forecaster DTN, drier and hotter conditions later this week and early next week will assist harvesting in the U.S. Also, wheat dropped on Wednesday amid expectations for increased output in Australia, the world s fourth-biggest exporter. Favorable weather conditions are projected to boost production as rains moistened soils.

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