GRAINS-Soybeans, corn set for quarterly losses; market eyes US planting report

SINGAPORE, March 31 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean and corn futures slid on Friday as both markets were poised for a quarterly drop with a focus on a U.S. government report on planting intentions due later in the day.

Wheat eased, set to end the first quarter of 2023 on a weaker note.


* The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was down 0.1% at $14.73-3/4 a bushel, as of 0023 GMT, corn gave up 0.2% to $6.48-1/4 a bushel and wheat slid 0.5% to $6.88-3/4 a bushel.

* For the quarter, soybeans are down more than 3%, corn has lost 4.5% and wheat is down almost 13%.

* Soybeans and corn futures are under pressure ahead of Friday’s planting intentions and quarterly stocks reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

* Analysts surveyed by Reuters on average expect the USDA to project total U.S. 2023 corn plantings at 90.9 million acres, up from 88.6 million a year ago, but down slightly from the 91 million acres that the USDA forecast at its February Outlook Forum.

* For soybeans, analysts on average expect the USDA to estimate total U.S. 2023 soybean plantings at 88.2 million acres, up from 87.5 million a year ago and above the USDA’s February Outlook Forum forecast of 87.5 million.

* In the wheat market, pressure stemmed from plentiful global supplies.

* European Union production of common wheat will total 130.9 million tonnes in 2023, up from 126 million tonnes the previous year, the European Commission projected.

* Global grain trader Viterra’s management team in Russia plans to create an independent Russian grain exporter once the company ceases export activities in the country, Nikolai Demyanov, the head of its Russian office, told Reuters on Thursday.

* Russia’s agriculture ministry said Viterra’s decision will not affect the amount of Russia’s grain exports.

* Viterra’s announcement comes a day after rival Cargill said it would take a further step back from the Russian grain market.

* Argentina’s Buenos Aires grains exchange maintained its 2022/2023 harvest forecasts for both soy and corn on Thursday, after making consecutive sharp cuts in recent months amid historic drought.

* The exchange expects a soy harvest of 25 million tonnes and 36 million tonnes of corn for the 2022/2023 cycle.

* Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT wheat, soyoil, soybean and corn futures contracts on Thursday and net buyers of soymeal futures, traders said.


* Stock indexes advanced on Thursday, but finished below their session highs while the dollar declined as investors turned their focus to upcoming inflation data and the outlook for interest rate hikes.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0130 China NBS Manufacturing PMI March 0600 UK GDP QQ, YY Q4 0600 UK Nationwide house price MM, YY March 0645 France CPI (EU Norm) Prelim YY March 0645 France Producer Prices YY Feb 0755 Germany Unemployment Rate, Chg SA March 0900 EU HICP Flash YY March 0900 EU HICP-X F, E, A, T Flash MM, YY March 0900 EU Unemployment Rate Feb 1230 US Consumption, Adjusted MM Feb 1230 US Core PCE Price Index MM, YY Feb 1230 US PCE Price Index MM, YY Feb 1400 US U Mich Sentiment Final March (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)