GRAINS-Soybeans prices fall on bumper Brazil crop forecasts

By Nigel Hunt

LONDON, March 10 (Reuters) – Chicago soybean futures were lower on Friday as an improving crop outlook in Brazil threatened to curb U.S. exports while corn and wheat prices also eased.

The most active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade was down 0.6 percent at $10.05-1/4 a bushel at 1203 GMT and was on track for a weekly loss of 3.1 percent.

The soybean market is facing headwinds as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in a monthly report on Thursday increased its forecast for Brazil’s 2016/17 soybean harvest to a record high 108 million tonnes, from 104 million in February.

“While output expectations were record-high, a 108 million tonne output caught the market off-guard and is driving a short-term bearish reaction,” Rabobank said in a market note.

The agency also cut its estimate of U.S. 2016/17 soybean exports, citing competition from the Brazilian crop, and raised its forecast of U.S. soy year-ending stocks to 435 million bushels, above an…