Corn Drops as Warmer U.S. Weather May Speed Up Crop Development

June 20, 2013 04:35 AM
Corn Drops as Warmer U.S. Weather May Speed Up Crop Development

Corn fell in Chicago after three days of gains and soybeans declined on speculation warm, dry weather in the U.S. Midwest will accelerate crop development and allow farmers to finish rain-delayed planting.

Midwest temperatures may be near to above normal through June 25, which should be favorable for late-planted crops. Fifteen percent of soybeans in the main growing areas still needed to be planted as of June 16, while corn crops were developing at a slower-than- average rate, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Much of the Midwest had above-normal rain during the past three months, National Weather Service data show.

"We aren’t too concerned with the delay in planting," Tom Pugh, a commodities economist at Capital Economics in London, said by telephone today. "It’s far more important what the weather will be like in the next couple months and during the harvest. That’s going to far outweigh a couple of weeks’ delay."

Corn for delivery in December, after the U.S. harvest, lost 1.4 percent to $5.6275 a bushel at 7:03 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade after settling yesterday at $5.705, the highest close since March 27. Soybeans for delivery in November fell 1 percent to $12.975 a bushel, down for the first day in three.

The USDA projects U.S. corn and soybean output will rise to a record after drought hurt crops in the past season.

Export Sales

Agriculture markets also fell amid concern that a strengthening dollar would hurt demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s largest grower. The USDA will release its weekly export sales report today. The Dollar Index, a measure against six currencies, rose 0.7 percent, extending yesterday’s 1 percent increase, after the Federal Reserve said it may phase out stimulus.

"Expectations of declining U.S. export sales are pushing prices lower," Hiroyuki Kikukawa, general manager for research at Nihon Unicom Inc., said from Tokyo today. "A stronger dollar has also made U.S. supplies less attractive to importers."

Wheat for delivery in September fell 1.4 percent to $7.0425 a bushel on volume that was 126 percent above the 100-day average for that time of day. In Paris, milling wheat for delivery in November dropped 0.5 percent to 198.75 euros ($262.50) a metric ton on NYSE Liffe.

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