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US soybean harvest pace expected to weaken: sources

Highlights

Showers to delay harvest

Futures prices to be supported

New Delhi — The US soybean harvest pace, which has been swift so far, is expected to slow down in the current week on showers accompanying the rapidly developing cold front in the Corn Belt, market sources said Sept. 29.

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The Corn Belt is the core soybean-producing region of the US and accounts for over 90% of total bean output in the country.

Soybean harvesting requires dry weather to expedite the crop's maturation, while rains can delay the process.

In the Corn Belt, widespread showers accompany a strong cold front, which currently stretches from Lake Huron into the lower Ohio Valley, the US Department of Agriculture said Sept 28.

The rain is disrupting fieldwork, including harvest activities, which until recently had been advancing with few delays, it added.

The USDA said Sept. 28 that 20% of the total US soybean crop for the 2020-21 marketing year (September-August) has been harvested as of Sept. 27, higher than the five-year average of 15% for the period.

RECENT CONDITIONS

A rapid soybean harvest pace was expected due to a hot August in the Midwest, which resulted in the soybean crop maturing rapidly. However, crop ratings fell briskly withing a few weeks.

US soybeans experienced an extremely dry August, and drought-like conditions emerged in Iowa, a major soy producing state, which impacted the crop's ratings.

The US soybean crop condition has fallen 10 percentage points within a few weeks to 64% of the total being rated good to excellent, the latest USDA data showed.

A lower soybean crop rating signals a smaller yield forecast, leading to decreased supply and bullish oilseed prices.

However, a swift soybean harvest pressured the US soybean futures price in recent days, and the trend is expected to reverse on slackening harvesting in the current week.

November soybean futures tumbled 3 cents lower on the day to $9.9325/bu, but an uptick is expected on a slackening harvest pace in coming days, an agro analyst said Sept. 29

The USDA has forecast the country's soybean yield at 51.9 bu/acre, up 9% on the year, and output at 117.38 million mt in 2020-21, up 22% year on year.