Soybeans climb on supportive USDA stocks, acreage data; corn mixed
New throughout, adds USDA report data, updates prices, adds quotes, changes byline, changes dateline from previous SINGAPORE/PARIS,
By Julie Ingwersen
CHICAGO, March 31 (Reuters) -U.S. soybean futures rose about 2% on Friday, climbing back above $15 a bushel for the first time since mid-March after the U.S. Department of Agriculture's forecast for 2023 plantings and its March 1 soy stockpiles estimate both came in at the low end of trade expectations.
Corn futures were mixed, with nearby contracts rising on bullish U.S. March 1 stocks data, while deferred contracts fell on a larger-than-expected USDA plantings forecast.
As of 12:50 p.m. CDT (1750 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade May soybeans SK3 were up 27-1/2 cents at $15.02 per bushel after reaching $15.13-3/4, the contract's highest since March 13.
CBOT May corn CK3 was up 8-1/2 cents at $6.58 a bushel while new-crop December corn CZ3 was down 1 cent at $5.66. CBOT May wheat WK3 was up 3/4 cent at $6.93 a bushel, with rallies capped by a larger-than-expected USDA wheat acreage figure.
Soybean futures rose after the government projected 2023 plantings of the oilseed at 87.5 million acres, up only slightly from 2022 and near the low end of estimates in a Reuters poll of analysts. The USDA also reported March 1 soy stocks at 1.685 billion bushels, down 13% from a year ago.
"What really sticks out is that the soybean stocks are at the low end of trade expectations. That ... seems to indicate that we could see some price rationing," said Karl Setzer, brokerage research lead with Mid-Co Commodities.
For corn, the USDA pegged quarterly stocks at 7.401 billion bushels, the smallest for March 1 in nine years. Looking ahead to this spring, the USDA projected 2023 corn plantings at 92 million acres, up 4% from 2022.
However, traders cautioned that wet weather in southern reaches of the U.S. crop belt and heavy snow in the Dakotas and Minnesota could complicate plantings in the coming weeks.
"These acreage numbers are all moot unless the snow starts to melt in the northern U.S. Plains," said Ed Duggan, senior risk management specialist at Top Third Ag Marketing.
For the first quarter of the year, CBOT wheat Wv1 was on track to fall 12.8%, with corn Cv1 down 2.9% and soybeans Sv1 down 1.4%.
Reporting by Julie Ingwersen; additional reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Josie Kao
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