Freeze warnings have some worried – but the sub-$10 per bushel soybean price is more of a concern for a huge crop expected to hit the bins this fall. USDA’s Thursday forecast of 3.91 billion bushels surpassed the August projection of 3.81 billion. New-crop ending soybean stocks are projected at 475 million bushels. All those numbers helped keep downward pressure on soybean prices.
November 2014 soybeans closed Friday at about $9.85. November was actually up a few cents, possibly because of reports of frost in parts of Minnesota, Iowa, the Dakotas, Wisconsin and Nebraska. Old-crop September expired at about $10.91, up some 29¢, a late showing that soybean supplies remain short heading into heavy harvest.
USDA’s crop production report indicated that yields are expected to average a record high 46.6 bushels per acre. That’s up 1.2 bushels from last month and up 3.3 bushels from last year. Area that’s expected to be harvested is forecast at a record 84.1 million acres. That number is unchanged from August, but up 11% from last year.
Bryce Knorr, senior editor, Farm Futures, sees little end in sight for low prices.
“Ideal growing conditions this summer, with ample moisture and a lack of intense heat, have most corn and soybeans in good to excellent condition,” he says. “Soybeans were being harvested further south, with Mississippi 17% cut and Arkansas 5%.
“There appears to be little standing the way of the crop achieving USDA's forecast. Except for the chance of localized frost this weekend, the crop appears headed for a healthy harvest, with more than 70% rated good to excellent.”
Farm Futures reports that good export news greeted soybeans late in the week. China bought 8.82 million bushels of 2014-2015 U.S. soybeans and unknown destinations buying 7.72 million. “In addition,” Knorr says, “China bought 13.23 million of optional-origin soybeans. An optional-origin contract provides that the origin of the commodity may be the U.S. or one or more other exporting countries.”
Nevertheless, the trend is down, says Bret Crotts, analyst for Schwieterman, Inc. Unless there are freezes or “some surprise out of the USDA, that isn’t going to change,” he says.