Soybean futures prices under pressure

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — U.S. and world soybean futures prices continued to fall after the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nov. 9 U.S. Crop Production report and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates reflected larger-than-expected soybean supplies for 2012-13.

In overnight trading U.S. soybean futures prices at the CME Group fell to four-month lows and were down about 25c a bu from Friday’s close through old crop early Monday with nearby months $14.25 a bu. Soybean futures prices on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange fell 2.5% to three month lows on pressure attributed to last Friday’s U.S.D.A. data. Also after the reports, Gold Sachs reduced its three-month soybean price forecast by 12% to $16.50 a bu, while some other analysts were forecasting prices may drop to $13 a bu.

The U.S.D.A. forecast U.S. 2012 soybean production at 2,971 million bus, up 110,732,000 bus, or 4%, from 2,860 million bus forecast in October, down 4% from 3,094 million bus last year and the lowest since 2,967 million bus in 2008. But the U.S.D.A. number was about 3% above the average of trade expectations.

U.S. 2012-13 soybean ending stocks were boosted 8% from October to 140 million bus, while world ending stocks were raised 4% to 60.02 million tonnes. Strong 2012-13 production was forecast for South America after drought reduced production in 2011-12. Soybean planting in Brazil was 54% completed compared with 66% as the five-year average, according to Safras Mercado.
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