CBOT soy outlook: Crop uncertainty continue to support prices

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U.S. soybean futures are poised to edge higher early Wednesday, with the uncertainties of crop potential supporting prices following recent price declines.

Industry analysts anticipate prices holding within a narrow trading range, with traders unwilling to take on added risk, as they await more clarity on eventual crop production.

"Traders are seen evening some positions, particularly with the market void of any fresh news to direct prices," said Don Roose, president of West Des Moines, Iowa-based brokerage U.S. Commodities.

Industry participants are anxiously awaiting actual yield results from the autumn harvest, as the U.S. soy crop ended the growing season with a dry weather profile, Roose added.

Traders are concerned that a drop in production potential will put additional pressure on relatively tight projected 2012 U.S. soybean inventories.

CBOT soybeans are called to open up 1 cent to 2 cents.

In overnight trading, Chicago Board of Trade November soybean futures were up 1 1/2 cents at $13.39 1/2 a bushel.

The influence of external financial markets continue to impact prices amid concerns over ongoing sovereign debt issues in Europe, which has rallied the U.S. dollar and renewed worries of the world's economic outlook, said Jerry Gidel, analyst with North America Risk Management Services in a research note.

Soybean prices are expected to draw support from grain buyers surfacing after recent price breaks, yet analysts remain concerned about soybean demand holding up in the face of a sluggish world economy.

Money managers remain cautious of risk exposure in the face of a tenuous global economy, with seasonal pressure from the expected influx of supplies from the fall harvest. Investors are also cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee meeting on monetary policy.

Meanwhile, analysts are also eyeing the potential for South American plantings and production amid tight projected U.S. supplies in 2012.

"While most attention centers on Brazilian soybean production, traders are watching expanding corn acreage, said Karl Setzer, analyst with MaxYield Cooperative in West Bend, Iowa, in a market note. Heavier forward booked Brazilian corn sales are resulting in increased corn plantings, with acres of that crop expanding by 15% this year, Setzer said.

"The real question is if these increased corn plantings will cut into soybean acres," he added.

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