Monday, December 17, 2018
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Soybeans Climb to 10-Month High on U.S. Inventory Outlook

Soybean futures rose to a 10-month high on speculation the government will lower its estimate for inventories in the U.S., the world's top producer. Corn climbed to a one-week high, and wheat dropped.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture may cut its forecast for soybean stockpiles before the next harvest by 4.5 percent to 138.5 million bushels, compared with the estimate in March, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts. Since Sept. 1, export sales as of March 27 rose 24 percent from a year earlier, reducing reserves.

"Soybeans rose in anticipation of the USDA cutting its stockpile estimate," Jim Gerlach, the president of A/C Trading Co. in Fowler, Indiana. "No one wants to get short ahead of today's numbers."

On the Chicago Board of Trade, soybean futures for May delivery climbed 0.9 percent to $14.965 a bushel at 10:25 a.m. Earlier, the price reached $15.01, the highest for a most-active contract since June 6.

The May premium to the July contract rose as much as 14 percent to 24 cents. On April 7, it touched a three-week low of 15.5 cents.

"Rising premiums are the best way to slow demand," Gerlach said.

The USDA will reduce its forecast for corn inventories before this year's harvest by 3.6 percent, the fifth straight cut, as demand increased after prices fell to a 40-month low in January, the Bloomberg survey showed. The agency is scheduled to update its reserve estimates at noon in Washington.

Corn futures for May delivery rose 0.6 percent to $5.1025 a bushel. The price reached $5.1125, the highest since April 1.

Wheat futures for May delivery fell 0.8 percent to $6.7575 a bushel. Earlier, the price climbed as much as 1 percent to $6.88, the highest since April 2.

Through yesterday, the grain advanced 13 percent this year after cold, dry weather hurt winter-crop prospects.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Wilson in Chicago at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Millie Munshi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Patrick McKiernan

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