GRAINS-CBOT corn, soybean futures turn lower on global supply glut

Credit: REUTERS/BING GUAN

By P.J. Huffstutter

CHICAGO, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Chicago Board of Trade corn futures on Friday fell to $4 per bushel in the front-month contract Cc1 for the first time since November 2020, as hefty U.S. and global supplies weighed over the market.

Chicago soybean futures also turned lower on supply pressures and as weekly U.S. exports dropped to the lowest since last May, according to government data.

But it is the speed in which corn prices have fallen that has startled growers and market analysts, who say the low prices could impact the U.S. farm economy as producers are finalizing their spring planting plans.

Most CBOT corn futures set new life-of-contract lows. CBOT's March corn futures CH24have plunged more than 9% so far this month, the biggest February percentage dive since 1975.

Meanwhile, projections released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in October forecast that it would cost U.S. farmers about $4.80 per bushel to raise corn in 2024.

"There is literally nothing holding up the corn market right now, because we just produced too much," said Karl Setzer, partner at Consus Ag Consulting.

"It doesn't matter that we have corn demand, or that ethanol production is up 4.3% from last year, or that feed demand is perking up," he said. "There's just too much corn."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said weekly U.S. soybean export sales hit a marketing-year low of 55,900 metric tons for 2023/24 in the week to Feb. 15, compared to analysts' estimates for 300,000 to 800,000 tons.

Buyers instead are turning to South America, where Brazilian soybean export prices are at a steep discount to the U.S. - to about $1.50 to $1.70 per bushel lower, traders said.

And CBOT wheat turned lower, following corn, after the U.S. imposed extensive sanctions against top global wheat exporter Russia.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Sv1 was down 1.08% at $4.14 a bushel, while wheat Wv1 was down 1.64% at $5.69-3/4 a bushel.

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing Eileen Soreng, Krishna Chandra Eluri and Josie Kao)

((pj.huffstutter@thomsonreuters.com; 313-484-5275 (w);))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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