Dec. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Corn futures headed for the biggest drop in almost two weeks on concern that China may reject more U.S. shipments with a genetically modified variety. Soybeans and wheat dropped.
China ordered wider inspections of imports of animal-feed ingredients made from corn to ensure they don’t contain an unapproved modified variety, two people with knowledge of the matter said. The U.S., the world’s top grower, is projected to produce a record crop this year.
"The Chinese issue is a bit bearish, at least in the near term," Greg Grow, the director of agribusiness at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. "Lack of clarity adds to the continued bearish environment of larger supplies."
Corn futures for March delivery fell 1.4 percent to $4.285 a bushel at 10:29 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. A close at that price would mark the biggest drop for a most-active contract since Dec. 13. Through Dec. 24, the grain plunged 38 percent this year.
The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine in Beijing said in a statement last week that as of Dec. 19, 12 regular shipments from the U.S. totaling 545,000 metric tons were rejected.
Precipitation in the next 10 days will provide "much- needed" moisture to corn crops in South America, Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, said in a report. This year, Brazil was the top exporter, followed by Argentina and the U.S., according to U.S. government estimates.
"Looming large production out of South America remains a bearish factor," Grow of Archer Financial said.
Soybean futures for March delivery dropped 0.6 percent to $13.1475 a bushel. Earlier, the price touched $13.1175, the lowest since Dec. 19.
Wheat futures for March delivery fell 0.7 percent to $6.0175 a bushel. This month, the price has tumbled 10 percent, heading for the biggest slump since September 2011.
--Editors: Patrick McKiernan, Millie Munshi