Corn, Soybeans Fall as Feed Demand May Slow, Farmers Lift Sowing

Corn and soybeans declined for a second session in Chicago on signs feed use in the U.S. may slow just as the nation’s farmers prepare to boost plantings.

Feedlots in the U.S. placed 1.48 million young animals in February, down from 1.71 million a year earlier and the fewest for that month since the U.S. government began tracking the data in 1996, Department of Agriculture data showed March 22. U.S. farmers may sow the largest area of soybeans ever and plant the most corn since 1936, according to a Bloomberg survey.

“With normal seasonal conditions, the large area will support a record corn crop and a sharp increase in inventories in the year ahead,” Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), wrote in a report today. The drop in cattle placements in feedlots suggest lower feed demand in months ahead, he said.

Corn for delivery in May fell as much as 0.7 percent to $7.215 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, adding to a drop of 0.9 percent on March 22, and was at $7.245 a bushel by 8:50 a.m. local time. Soybeans for delivery in the same month fell 0.6 percent to $14.325 a bushel on volume 57 percent below the 100-day average for that time of day.

Soybeans may be planted in the U.S. on 78.35 million acres (31.71 million hectares) and corn seeding may reach 97.3 million acres, according to Bloomberg’s survey. The U.S. government acreage report is due March 28.

Wheat for May delivery slipped 0.7 percent in Chicago to $7.2475 a bushel in Chicago. Milling wheat traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris for delivery the same month slipped 0.1 percent to 241 euros ($311.76) a metric ton.

European Union wheat yields are forecast to rise 4.4 percent this year to 5.4 tons per hectare (2.47 acres) from 5.17 tons last year, the bloc’s Monitoring Agricultural Resources unit wrote in a report today.

Crops in the bloc haven’t suffered winter-kill damage yet, and winter grains in France and Germany have sufficient water for spring growth, according to MARS.

To contact the reporter on this story: Luzi Ann Javier in Singapore at ljavier@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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