Soybean futures ease, a day after nearing record high


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CHICAGO — Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures weakened on Friday, after nearing an all-time high during a rally in the previous session that was fueled by strong export demand and concerns about U.S. supplies.

Supply concerns remained, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture cut its estimates for 2021/22 domestic ending stocks to 205 million bushels in a monthly report. That was down from USDA’s May estimate for 235 million and below analysts’ expectations for 218 million.

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The USDA raised its outlook for U.S. soy exports for 2021/22 by 30 million bushels to 2.17 billion.

“The U.S. numbers for the soybeans were friendly, but the trade had already worked in the upward revision in the exports,” said Terry Reilly, senior commodity analyst for Futures International.

For 2022/23, the USDA pegged U.S. soy stocks at 280 million bushels, below its May estimate for 310 million and analysts’ expectations for 307 million. Still, global stocks were projected at 100.46 million tonnes, slightly up from last month and above analysts’ expectations.

Most-active CBOT soybean futures were down 21-1/2 cents at $17.47-1/2 a bushel by 11:55 a.m. CDT (1655 GMT). On Thursday, the contract reached its highest since September 2012 at $17.84 a bushel, near an all-time high of $17.89.

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“The U.S. continues to see strong export sales of soybeans, bolstering old-crop prices,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

CBOT corn futures were little changed as traders analyzed weather forecasts for the U.S. crop. Heat expected in the coming days could threaten corn, after cold weather delayed springtime plantings, said Jim Gerlach, president of A/C Trading.

“Heat at this time really saps soil moisture in a hurry,” Gerlach said.

Most-active corn was down 1/2-cent at $7.72-1/4 a bushel. CBOT wheat was down 2-1/4 cents at $10.69.

(Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago. Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris, Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Karl Plume in Chicago; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise, Kirsten Donovan)

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