Soybeans, corn set for quarterly losses; market eyes US planting report
Soybeans down 3.4% this quarter, corn 4.4% lower, wheat 13% down
U.S. planting intentions report to set direction for prices
Adds quote in paragraph 3, updates prices
By Naveen Thukral
SINGAPORE, March 31 (Reuters) -Chicago soybean and corn futures slid on Friday as both markets were poised for a quarterly drop with a focus on a U.S. government report on planting intentions due later in the day.
Wheat eased, set to end the first quarter of 2023 on a weaker note.
"Traders were positioning for the key USDA planted acreage and March 1 stocks reports," the Hightower said in a report. "The small range for the acreage report has left the market concerned for a surprise..."
The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Sv1 was down 0.2% at $14.71-3/4 a bushel, as of 0344 GMT. Corn Cv1 gave up 0.1% to $6.48-3/4 a bushel and wheat Wv1 slid 0.8% to $6.86-1/2 a bushel.
For the quarter, soybeans are down more than 3.4%,corn has lost 4.4% and wheat is down more than 13%.
Soybeans and corn futures are under pressure ahead of Friday's planting intentions and quarterly stocks reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Analysts surveyed by Reuters on average expect the USDA to project total U.S. 2023 corn plantings at 90.9 million acres, up from 88.6 million a year earlier, but down slightly from the 91 million acres that the USDA forecast at its February Outlook Forum.
For soybeans, analysts on average expect the USDA to estimate total U.S. 2023 soybean plantings at 88.2 million acres, up from 87.5 million a year earlier and above the USDA's February Outlook Forum forecast of 87.5 million.
In the wheat market, pressure stemmed from plentiful global supplies.
European Union production of common wheat will total 130.9 million tonnes in 2023, up from 126 million tonnes the previous year, the European Commission projected.
Global grain trader Viterra's management team in Russia plans to create an independent Russian grain exporter once the company ceases export activities in the country, Nikolai Demyanov, the head of its Russian office, told Reuters on Thursday.
Russia's agriculture ministry said Viterra's decision will not affect the amount of the country'sgrain exports.
Viterra's announcement comes a day after rival Cargill said it would take a further step back from the Russian grain market.
Argentina's Buenos Aires grains exchange maintained its 2022/2023 harvest forecasts for both soy and corn on Thursday, after making consecutive sharp cuts in recent months amid a historic drought.
The exchange expects a soy harvest of 25 million tonnes and 36 million tonnes of corn for the 2022/2023 cycle.
Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT wheat, soyoil, soybean and corn futures contracts on Thursday and net buyers of soymeal futures, traders said. COMFUND/CBT
Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Sohini Goswami
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