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Corn+Soybean Digest

$12 soybean prices hang on

Unlike new-crop corn futures that appear to have settled into a seasonal slide pattern, new-crop soybeans have seen less downside movement. Still, market analysts feel getting up to 50% of your crop marketed at above $12 per bushel should payoff if a big crop comes in.

November 2014 soybean futures have lingered between just over $12 to about $12.30 the past three weeks. November futures finished Friday at near $12.32, up from below $12.10 the beginning of the week. Heavy rains and flooding in the northern Corn Belt were propping up prices for beans and all grains at week’s end.

Also helping soybeans were strong exports reported by USDA. Brugler Marketing and Management notes that estimates for weekly export sales were up to about 100,000 metric tons (MT) for old crop, and 300,000-600,000 MT for new crop. 

USDA put the actual sales figures at the top of the old-crop range at 97,900 MT, and below the new crop range of estimates at 285,800 MT, Brugler says, adding that total commitments as a percentage of total exports are currently at 104%, compared to the 101% last year and the five-year average of 101%. 

Expect futures to remain volatile as the market sorts out very tight old-crop supplies,” says Bryce Knorr, senior editor of Farm Futures, sister publication to Corn+Soybean Digest. “Big yields could ultimately sink the market later in the growing season, an incentive to keep pricing new-crop above $12 November. Focus on getting 50% of new-crop covered.”

Bret Crotts, analyst for Schwieterman Marketing, says no rush to make heavy sales is needed until there is a market movement. “At some point the hammer will drop on the new-crop soybeans, but it hasn’t happened yet,” Crotts says “After all, we are basing all of our bearishness on a record yield and it is a long way until harvest.”

Crotts says there are ideas that a higher soybean acreage estimate will be seen at the end of the month. “But there are also concerns that crop condition ratings have peaked, which seems to be why the November contract can’t fall below $12. I can’t see being aggressively short until we see a close below $12.

Soybeans were more than 92% planted as of last Monday, just above the 90% average the past 5 years.  More than 83% had emerged, compared to a 77% five-year average.

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