CNS Canada — Soybean and corn contracts at the Chicago Board of Trade find themselves in consolidation mode as traders await the release a pair of key U.S. reports on March 31.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s first survey-based acreage estimates of the year will be released that day, while quarterly stocks data are also set to come out.
Increased U.S. soybean acres and decreased corn area on the year are generally expected.
However, “the American farmer loves planting corn,” and the adjustments may not end up as large as currently forecast by some analysts, according to Scott Capinegro of Barrington Commodity Brokers, a branch of HighGround Trading.
While any surprises could sway the futures in the short term, the acreage number still has plenty of time to change and the quarterly stocks numbers will be more important, he said.
The stocks numbers will provide a clearer picture of demand and usage to date, with end-user demand for soybeans already running ahead of the current projections, he said.
Large South American crops are a bearish influence for both soybeans and corn, but those big crops are already priced into the futures. “Sooner or later that will hit the market.”
From a chart standpoint, Capinegro noted the May corn contract is trading right around its lows for the calendar year, with psychological support coming in at US$3.50 per bushel.
May soybeans, meanwhile, have held within a few cents of the US$10 per bushel mark for the past week.
“We definitely did chart damage last week,” said Capinegro, adding that funds were exiting their long positions.
— Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.