Soybean futures fell for the first time in four days on speculation that dwindling U.S. supplies will curb processing activities and increase imports from South America. Corn and wheat rose.
Soybean processing by 12 companies in the National Oilseed Processors Association fell 2.5 percent in March from a year earlier, data showed this week. Combined soybean production in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia will rise 28 percent this year to a record 148.8 million metric tons from a year earlier, data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show.
“Processors are going to take more downtime for maintenance than continue to pay higher prices for soybeans,” Don Roose, the president of U.S. Commodities Inc. in West Des Moines, Iowa, said in a telephone interview. “Soybean and soybean-meal imports from South America will increase later this year to alleviate the tight U.S. supplies.”
Soybean futures for July delivery fell 0.5 percent to close at $13.825 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, paring this week’s gain to 0.2 percent.
Corn rose as U.S. farmers withheld dwindling supplies left from last year’s drought-reduced harvests as a hedge against rain-delayed plantings across the Midwest, Brian Grete, the senior market analyst for the Professional Farmers of America newsletter in Cedar Falls, Iowa, said in a telephone interview.
U.S. corn inventories fell 10 percent as of March 1 from a year earlier, while soybean stockpiles tumbled 27 percent, according to government statistics on March 28. Corn planting on April 14 was 2 percent completed, the lowest since 1993, USDA data show.
Corn futures for July delivery gained 0.5 percent to $6.33 a bushel in Chicago. Still, the most-active contract fell 1.3 percent for the week on speculation that warmer, drier weather beginning in late April may firm soils for increased Midwest planting progress.
Wheat futures for delivery in July climbed 0.7 percent to $7.115 a bushel on the CBOT. The price fell 1.1 percent this week, the first drop in three weeks.