GRAINS-Soy futures rise as corn consolidates after three-year lows

Credit: REUTERS/RODOLFO BUHRER

By Tom Polansek

CHICAGO, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures rose on short covering on Friday, while corn futures consolidated after setting a three-year low for the third consecutive session under pressure from large supplies, analysts said.

Wheat futures extended losses to a 2-1/2 month low.

Traders digested supply and production data issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture this week and also adjusted positions before the three-day holiday weekend. The CBOT will be closed on Monday for Presidents Day.

"The soybean market is quite oversold," said Tomm Pfitzenmaier, analyst for Summit Commodity Brokerage.

Most-active CBOT soybeans Sv1 were up 9-3/4 cents at $11.72 a bushel by 11:40 a.m. CST (1740 GMT), after falling on Thursday to the lowest price since December 2020 at $11.60-1/4.

CBOT corn Cv1 was flat at $4.17-3/4 a bushel, after touching its lowest level since December 2020 earlier on Friday at $4.16-1/4. Wheat Wv1 was down 5 cents at $5.62 a bushel and hit its weakest price since Nov. 28 at $5.60.

The USDA's chief economist said this week that U.S. soybeans would face slowing demand from top importer China and steep competition from South America. Beneficial rain for crops in Argentina and Brazil have tempered worries about heat and drought losses.

"The better weather in South America, along with declining U.S. exports, leaves traders with little reason to buy soybeans in the short run except for short-term profit-taking," Pfitzenmaier said.

The USDA said on Thursday that U.S. soybean ending stocks would climb to 435 million bushels in 2024/25, the highest since 2019/20, and U.S. corn stocks would balloon to 2.532 billion bushels, the most since the 1987/88 season.

Market reaction to the projections may fade as participants await clearer evidence of U.S. planting trends and look ahead to more detailed 2024/25 forecasts, Commerzbank said.

"When prices are low, corn is a high-cost crop," said Jim Gerlach, president of brokerage A/C Trading. "You're going to see some of those marginal acres drop."

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Peter Hobson in Canberra; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu, Krishna Chandra Eluri and David Evans)

((gus.trompiz@thomsonreuters.com; +33 1 49 49 52 18; Reuters Messaging: gus.trompiz.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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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