By Brendan O’Brien

CHICAGO, Dec 8 (Reuters)U.S. soybean futures fell nearly 1% on Friday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s updated estimate of Brazil’s soybean harvest fell toward the high end of trade expectations, easing concerns about global supplies of the oilseed.

Corn fell after the USDA left its forecasts for corn production in Brazil and Argentina unchanged, while wheat fell more than 1% on profit-taking after hitting a one-week high.

Declines in soybean futures set the tone. The USDA pegged Brazilian soy production at 161 million metric tons in a monthly report, down from its November estimate of 163 million but still the largest crop on record, if realized. Analysts surveyed by Reuters on average expected an estimate of 160.16 million metric tons.

“It (USDA’s report) was in line with pretty much what we were expecting, even that Brazil soybean number,” said Karl Setzer, partner at Consus Ag Consulting. “I just can’t see anything here that would warrant altering your market stance.”

Central and northern regions of the South American country have grappled with high temperatures, while southern areas faced excessive rains. However, at 161 million tons, the current 2023/24 soy crop is still on track to surpass Brazil’s previous record crop from 2022/23, which the USDA estimated at 160 million tons.

As of 12:42 p.m. CST (1842 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) soybeans Sv1 were down 11-1/2 cents, or 0.9%, at $13.00-1/4 a bushel. Corn Cv1 was down 3 cents or 0.6% to $4.85 a bushel.

The most active wheat contract Wv1 was down 9-1/2 cents, or 1.5%, at $6.32-3/4 a bushel. The benchmark was consolidating below Wednesday’s four-month peak but was up nearly 6% so far this week.

The U.S. government has reported sales of more than 1 million metric tons of U.S. wheat to China this week, the biggest one-week total to the Asian country since July 2014.

(Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Peter Hobson in Canberra; Editing by Richard Chang and Grant McCool)

((brendan.obrien@thomsonreuters.com))

Source: Nasdaq

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