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Corn Leads Grain Plunge as Acreage Tops Analysts Estimates

June 28, 2013
 
 

June 28 (Bloomberg) -- Corn futures tumbled to a 32-month low, while soybeans and wheat fell to the cheapest in a year, after the government said U.S. farmers will plant more grain than forecast and the largest oilseed crop ever.

Planting of corn, the biggest domestic crop, jumped to 97.379 million acres, the most since 1936, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a report. Analysts in a Bloomberg survey expected 95.431 million. Wheat acreage reached a four- year high of 56.53 million, and soybeans were sown on a record 77.728 million. Corn dropped for the seventh straight session, and wheat capped the longest slump since December 2009.

U.S. farmers, the world’s biggest growers of corn and soybeans, are forecast by the USDA to produce record harvests this year, while the United Nations predicts global wheat output will be the highest ever. That will cut costs for buyers including Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., the largest corn processor, and Tyson Foods Inc., while curbing food prices down 9.5 percent from a record in February 2011.

"Farmers planted more corn, soybeans and wheat than almost anyone expected after all the rain earlier this year," Dale Durchholz, the senior analyst at AgriVisor LLC in Bloomington, Illinois, said in a telephone interview. "The U.S. crop potential is getting bigger, and that will keep the markets on the defensive and put farmers in a more aggressive selling mood."

Corn futures for delivery in December tumbled 5.1 percent to close at $5.11 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest decline for the price after the harvest since March 28. The price touched $5.06, the lowest for the most- active contract since Oct. 8, 2010.

 

Soybeans, Wheat

 

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 1.8 percent to $12.52 a bushel. Earlier, the oilseed touched $12.47, the lowest since June 4, 2012.

Wheat futures for September delivery slid 2.4 percent to $6.5775 a bushel. Earlier, the price touched $6.56, the lowest since June 19, 2012. The grain dropped for seven straight sessions.

Companies that use crops to make livestock feed, fuel and food will benefit from the slump in futures, said Brett Hundley, an analyst at Richmond, Virginia-based BB&T Capital Markets, a research firm that makes stock recommendations on agribusiness companies.

 

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