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Supply Chain

Soybean Futures Advance On US Supply Concerns

Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures jumped on Monday on concerns about strong export demand tightening US supplies and smaller-than-expected plantings.

The market refocused on supply worries after being closed on Friday for Good Friday.

The US Department of Agriculture shocked traders last week by reporting that US farmers plan to sow 91.1 million acres with corn this spring and 87.6 million acres with soybeans. Both estimates were well below analysts' expectations for 93.2 million corn acres and 89.996 million soybean acres.

"The focus for the market will be on enticing US farmers to plant more acres of soybeans and on the need to produce near record yields," said Tomm Pfitzenmaier, analyst for Summit Commodity Brokerage.

The most-active soybean contract was up 15 cents at $14.17 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade by 11:40 a.m. CDT (1640 GMT).

Most-active corn futures slumped 6-3/4 cents to $5.53 a bushel, after hitting its highest price since June 2013 at $5.85 a bushel on Thursday. Most-active wheat rose 8-1/2 cents to $6.19-1/2.

Planning Estimates

The USDA's planting estimates revived concerns about tightening global supplies after importers led by China, along with domestic processors, loaded up on grain and oilseeds this season.

It appears the USDA's estimate for US soybean exports is too low by possibly 50 million bushels to 100 million bushels, Pfitzenmaier said.

The USDA is due to issue a monthly update on agricultural supplies and demand on Friday.

Planting Progress

On Monday afternoon, the USDA is slated to begin issuing a separate weekly report that shows the progress of corn and soy plantings.

There are reports that some farmers are shifting more acres to corn, especially in places where planting has already started and field conditions are favorable, said Karl Setzer, commodity risk analyst for AgriVisor.

"At this point it does not seem like a huge number of acres will shift," he said.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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