28 March 2013 23:12 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) expects this to be another strong year for soybeans, and with Thursday’s release of the Prospective Plantings report they have estimated 77.13m acres of farmland will be filled with the commodity.
This estimate is a slight decrease from the 2012 number of 77.2m acres planted. The agency said it appears that farmers in the Great Plains will overall plant less of the crop this year, as they are likely deciding to grow corn instead.
Soybean ending stocks were placed at 999m bushels, which was higher than trade estimates but a 27% decrease from last March.
On Thursday, soybeans joined corn futures in taking a plunge as traders and non-commercial support vigorously sold off positions. May soybeans were down 49 cents to close at $14.0475/bushel.
However, strong demand has agricultural analysts taking a bullish position through the spring and predicting that the price will climb to harvest season.
For the fertilizer industry, it has been a restless time of waiting for farmers to get into the field and begin their seasonal activities, primarily the application of crop nutrients. Sources have said it appears that in some areas plantings will be later than last year's early start, namely from the persistence of winter conditions and significant rainfall in specific growing regions.
While most agree that the majority of fertilizers required for this season are positioned for distribution and placement into the field, the next surge of activity for both sides of the markets will come as the need for refilling distributors and farmers begins later this year. The slowdown in the market demand has caused some downward pressure in the past few weeks on various pricing of the crop nutrients.
As far as other major crops, the USDA said the wheat crop will be 56.4m acres, a 1% reduction from last year, while grain sorghum will come in at 7.62m acres, a 22% rise from 2012.
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