CHICAGO (B)--A likely hike above an already record high U.S. soybean planted acreage number in the U.S. Department of Agriculture June actual planted acreage report will limit rally potential this summer, according to two analysts at a Chicago Board of Trade press briefing March 31. History shows USDA is notorious for raising the crop in the June report from the March estimate and there is little reason to expect a change this year.
For nine consecutive years leading into March 31 report, USDA has raised the actual soybean plantings by an average of 1.55 million acres from the prospective plantings report to the actual report in June, according to Joe Victor, analysts with Allendale, Inc., McHenry, IL.
"If we were to add the average increase of 1.55 million acres onto this crop we would be looking at a crop of 76.5 million acres," Victor said. "That is more than 2 million acres over last year's crop when prices went to the low four dollars."
Dick Smetana, analyst with AgResource Co., said if the crop does near the 2.9 to 3.0 billion bushel level seen last year, low prices basis the Nov contract could easily fall to the $4 level.
"We were looking at a 2.9 billion bushel crop last year and we went to $4.04. We are going to need some help from Mother Nature to stay away from those levels."
Smetana added that with Nov. soybean prices already more than $1.50 above last year's low, there is a "very large" premium already in the market.
"The market has extra price in there to attack," he said. "The funds are net long soybeans, and considering the high carryout, the market has some vulnerability."
Both analysts admitted that the near-term chart outlook for soybeans is bullish. Victor noted that if May closed above the six-month high of $5.38 1/2 per bushel, the contract could gravitate toward the mid-$5.50s.
However, without a weather problem, an average summer growing season combined with an average soybean crop could spell another disaster for soybean prices.
"With an average crop, we will see worse basis levels than we did late last summer, and (Nov soybean) prices will fall to the $4.50 to $4.70 range," Victor said.