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Chicago Close: Soybeans Down on Brazil Harvest Pressure

The advancing harvest in Brazil weighed on soybean futures on Wednesday, even as the USDA attaché forecast a much smaller than expected crop in Argentina. 

A bumper crop is expected in Brazil, with some private estimates now pushing up toward 154 million tonnes, versus the USDA’s January estimate of 153 million. Meanwhile, an estimated 5% of the Brazilian crop is now reported harvested, with supplies soon to be flowing to world buyers. On the other hand, the USDA attaché pegged the Argentina crop at just 36 million tonnes, a whopping 9.5 million tonnes below last month’s official USDA estimate. US soybean prices also remain uncompetitive compared to values in Brazil. March beans fell 17 ¾ cents to $15.20 ¼, and November lost 2 ¾ cents to $13.60 ¼. 

Wheat futures ended mixed, with the benchmark Chicago market pressured by profit taking following a rally to four-week highs a day earlier. March Chicago dipped 1 ½ cents to $7.59 ¾, March Kansas City gained 5 ½ cents to $8.84 ¼, and March Minneapolis added 3 ¾ cents to $9.26. 

Corn turned in small gains after trading in the red earlier in the day. The US Energy Information Administration reported ethanol producers averaged 1.028 million gallons of daily production through the week that ended Jan. 27. That was a 16,000 barrel per day increase from the week prior and marked the third consecutive production week of 1 million or more barrels per day. March was up 1 ¼ cents to $6.81 and December was 5 ½ cents higher at $5.96 ¼. 

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