The latest survey by Brazilian farm analysts indicates farmers will reduce planted soybean acres in Brazil by more than 6 percent. But the predicted output from the crop is 58.6 million metric tons, or roughly 2.15 billion bushels. That's a 13.3 percent increase in production from last year.
The forecast for more soybeans on fewer acres may ring true, but getting an accurate read on Brazilian production is like grasping smoke. It's never easy.
More reliable numbers, it can be assumed, were being watched by traders Friday morning with the release of USDA's December supply and demand report.
Bearish sentiment pressured commodity prices in the futures pits of Chicago well in advance of Friday's supply and demand report from USDA.
The carryout for both corn and soybeans was increased from November estimates, with projected corn stocks climbing to 2.347 billion bushels ... and soybean stocks jumping to 392 million bushels.
The wheat carryout actually saw a slight decline, but NOT one that was significant enough to prevent a slide in futures prices.
Grain futures have been influenced in recent weeks not only by traditional commodity funds, but also by index buyers. Wall Street brokers are selling commodity indexes to large retirement plans, as well as some smaller investors. That means some of the burdensome supply of corn and beans is being held by a wide range of speculators.
Analysts say that scenario puts increased emphasis on basis for profitable farmer selling.