CHICAGO: Chicago Board of Trade grain and soyabean futures surged on Wednesday after the US Department of Agriculture surprised traders with lower-than-expected plantings estimates and inventory data.
Corn futures temporarily climbed by their daily exchange-imposed limit after the USDA pegged plantings of the crop at 92.692 million acres, below analysts’ expectations for 93.787 million acres. The agency said soyabean plantings were 87.555 million, compared to analysts’ expectations for 88.955 million.
The US estimates fuelled global supply concerns as inventories are slim and growing areas in North and South America are grappling with unfavourable weather.
“We needed higher acres to give us a buffer and it went the wrong way,” said Don Roose, president of Iowa-based brokerage US Commodities.
The most-active corn futures contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up 35-1/2 cents at $5.84 a bushel by noon CDT (1700 GMT) after briefly rising the 40-cent daily limit.
Soyabean futures were up 77 cents at $13.90 a bushel, while wheat jumped 23-3/4 cents to $6.70 a bushel.
The gains were a turnaround from losses across the markets before the USDA released its plantings and stocks data at 11 a.m. CDT.
In its quarterly stocks report, the USDA said domestic corn supplies on June 1 stood at 4.122 billion bushels, the lowest for that date since 2014. Soyabean stocks came in at a six-year low of 767 million and wheat stocks were 844 million, also the lowest in six years.
Analysts had predicted corn stocks of 4.144 billion, soyabean stocks of 787 million and wheat stocks of 859 million.
For soyabean stocks, the United States is “already on the ventilator at 20 million bushels less than we thought,” Roose said.