March soybeans were down 5 1/2 cents late in the overnight session. China futures were down 0.7%. Outside market forces look positive today with a weak US dollar and higher gold and energy markets. A continued positive supply outlook from Brazil has traders nervous over increasing supply forecasts. This, along with USDA news that major crop planted acreage in the US could jump a total of 10 million acres this year, helped to pressure the soybean complex yesterday and overnight. The Brazilian crop harvest is advancing under good growing conditions, and the Argentina crop has improved as well. The USDA baseline projections for the 2011/12 season suggest that planted acreage will be around 78 million acres, up 600,000 from last year. It appears that this was a bit higher than trade expectations. These projections were released as part of the budget process and were based on USDA forecasts as of November 2010. The USDA will update the projections at their Outlook Conference on February 24th and 25th. March soybeans opened 2 3/4 cents higher yesterday and closed 13 1/4 cents lower on the day and pushed down to the lowest level since January 31st. In addition to the talk of the advancing harvest in Brazil, the ideas that China may hvae shifted its buying to South America helped to spark some of the selling. The Commitment of Traders reports released late Friday showed an overbought condition, and this added to the negative tone. The NOPA crush report for January, released before the open yesterday, was considered somewhat supportive for soybeans but a bit negative for soybean oil. The January crush came in at 144.635 million bushels, which was higher than expected, but soybean oil stocks were also higher than expected at 3.098 billion pounds. Soybean weekly export inspections came in below the range of estimates at 33.8 million bushels. This was down from 44 million the previous week but still higher than the 18.4 million bushels needed each week to reach the USDA projection for the marketing year.
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