Grain futures mixed, soybeans reverse six days of gains

Grain futures were mixed on Thursday with soybeans falling, while wheat rose and corn was fairly unchanged. Advancing U.S. harvest and favorable weather outlook throughout most of the worlds major growing areas pressured prices.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, soybeans futures for settlement in January fell by 0.47% to $13.0838 a bushel by 11:40 GMT. Prices shifted in a days range between $13.1400 and $13.0513 a bushel. The oilseed rose by 0.1% on Wednesday, a sixth consecutive daily gain, but trimmed its weekly advance to 1% on Thursday.

Soybeans were recently supported by increased demand for U.S. exports. Data showed U.S. exporters sold 1.018 million tons of soybeans in the five days to October 31, more than five times the amount during the comparable period a year earlier. The U.S. Department of Agriculture raised its forecast for soybeans exports in the current year to 1.45 billion bushels, up from previously estimated at 1.37 billion.

The USDA reported last week that global inventories before the next year’s harvest will be 70.23 million tons, below September’s estimate of 71.54 million tons but the U.S. production will be 3.258 billion bushels this year, the third-biggest ever. In its weekly crop progress report released on Tuesday, the agency said that the U.S. harvest advanced by 5% from a week earlier. As of November 10, 91% of soybeans were harvested, 1% less than the five-year average and below last year’s 95% during the comparable week.

The oilseed was further pressured after Oil World said on Tuesday that global output may be 4 to 5 million tons larger than previously projected. The researcher estimated the 2013-2014 global production at 281.3 million tons on October 22, up 5.4% from a year earlier, while the USDA revised up its previous prediction to a record 283.54 million tons last Friday from 281.66 million in September.

Elsewhere on the market, corn futures for delivery in December were almost unchanged at $4.3013 per bushel at 11:57 GMT, down 0.02% on the day. Prices shifted in a days range between $4.3113 and $4.2838 per bushel respectively. The grain fell by 0.5% on Wednesday and further trimmed its weekly advance to little over 0.9%.

Corn rebounded from last weeks 38-month low after the USDA reported on Friday that U.S. farmers will harvest 13.989 billion bushels in the 2013 marketing season, below expectations for a revision to 14.029 billion. Meanwhile, U.S. corn inventories were expected to be 1.887 billion bushels in the year ending August 31, well below previous projections for 2.056 billion. U.S. suppliers are forecast to export 1.4 billion bushels, 14% more than previously calculated as importers will likely take advantage of low prices.

Prices however were pushed down for a third day on Thursday after the government agency said in its weekly crop progress report that the U.S. harvest accelerated by 11% last week. As of November 10, U.S. farmers had collected 84% of corn, 5% above the five-year average but below last year’s 97% during the comparable week.

Corn and soybeans were also pressured on forecasts for favorable weather in key growing regions. DTN reported on November 13 that dry weather through Friday will favor the remaining harvest in the U.S. Midwest. Some rain over the weekend might cause disruptions, but drier conditions were expected to return early next week.

The agencys forecast also called for benign weather in Brazils crop areas to provide suitable conditions for developing corn and soybeans. Central Argentinas major southern growing regions will experience mild weather that will benefit corn planting as well, DTN reported. In South Africa, suitable conditions across the Maize Triangle for planting and developing of corn will remain at hand.

Wheat advances

Elsewhere on the market, wheat futures rose as investors returned to the market to seek cheap valuations, but remained near 1-1/2-month levels. Wheat for delivery in December traded at $6.5088 per bushel at 11:57 GMT, up 0.85%. The grain rose by a mere 0.05% on Wednesday, snapping 10 straight days of losses, and jumped back to positive weekly territory following Thursdays advance, up 0.4%.

Wheat was recently pressured after the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted last week that U.S. wheat inventories will be 565 million bushels at the end of the current marketing year, up from previously estimated at 527 million.

Also fanning negative sentiment, the government agency reported on Tuesday that the planting process of the U.S. crop accelerated last week and neared completion. The USDA said that 95% of wheat was planted through the week ended November 10, above the five-year average of 93% and last year’s 94% during the comparable period. The report also showed that 84% of plants had emerged last week, exceeding the average of 80% and 2012′s 78% during the same period.

Meanwhile, DTNs November 13 forecast called for an ongoing mild trend, coupled with recently recharged moisture, to continue to benefit the pre-winter development of winter wheat in the Southern Plains. Mild weather will favor the filling wheat crop in central Argentinas major southern growing areas. DTN also said that rains during the past weekend provided moisture for developing of winter grains and oilseeds in Chinas Yangtze River valley and across the North China Plain. Drier weather is expected to return in the next five to seven days, the agency added.

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