December 9, 2016 / 5:55 PM / 2 years ago

GRAINS-Soybeans trim gains after USDA holds U.S. supplies steady

(Updates prices, adds USDA data and analyst reaction, changes byline, dateline, previously PARIS/SINGAPORE)

By Michael Hirtzer

CHICAGO, Dec 9 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures were about flat on Friday, paring earlier gains after the U.S. Department of Agriculture left its domestic supply outlook unchanged.

Chicago Board of Trade corn and wheat futures were also little changed in subdued trading following the crop data, in which the government boosted its estimates of global grain and soy stockpiles amid increased production outlooks in countries such as Australia and Brazil.

The global figures were higher than analysts expected, said Midwest Marketing Solutions analyst Brian Hoops. “That’s maybe a little bit negative in a market devoid of any major news.”

The USDA put U.S. soybean ending stocks at 480 million bushels, unchanged from its estimate in November and 10 million bushels above the analysts’ average estimate from a Reuters survey.

Corn ending stocks were seen at 2.403 billion bushels, 10 million below analysts’ estimates, with U.S. wheat pegged at 1.143 billion bushels, 4 million above market expectations.

The USDA’s December monthly outlook typically has fewer changes than data due in January, which will include final U.S. crop production figures for the 2016/17 growing season as well as quarterly grain stocks.

CBOT January soybeans were up 1 cent at $10.28 per bushel at 11:29 a.m. CST (1729 GMT), down from their earlier high of $10.38-1/4 but above an overnight two-week low of $10.21-1/2. For the week, soybeans were on pace to finish about flat.

CBOT March corn was down 1-1/4 cents at $3.52-1/4 per bushel, heading for a weekly gain of 1.6 percent. CBOT March wheat eased 1-3/4 cents to $4.06-1/2, still on pace for a weekly gain of 0.6 percent.

The USDA lifted its estimates of Brazil corn production to 86.50 million tonnes from 83.50 million tonnes and of the Australian wheat harvest to 33 million tonnes from 28.30 million tonnes.

“Maybe the Brazilian corn estimate was a little bit of a surprise for the trade,” said Allendale Inc Chief Strategist Rich Nelson. “Beyond that, this is a completely neutral report, and we’re going to go back to trading the daily and weekly announcements on exports and South American weather.” (Additional reporting by Mark Weinraub in Washington, Theopolis Waters in Chicago, Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus Trompiz in Paris; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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