Corn Drops to One-Week Low as Rain Eases Argentine Crop Stress

December 30, 2013 01:41 AM
Corn Drops to One-Week Low as Rain Eases Argentine Crop Stress

Corn fell to a one-week low in Chicago, set for the biggest annual drop on record, on speculation that rain in parts of Argentina would aid crops hampered by hot and dry conditions.

Areas of the nation will see two to three days of rain this week and cooler weather, after "oppressive heat" in some regions last week, QT Weather said in a report yesterday. Farmers in Argentina had planted 73 percent of their corn crops and 83 percent of soybeans as of Dec. 27, according to the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange. The country is the third-biggest corn and soybean exporter.

"There are more moderate temperatures prevailing in Argentina and Brazil, along with small, but nonetheless important, rains having fallen," economist Dennis Gartman wrote in his daily Gartman Letter.

Corn for delivery in March declined 0.5 percent to $4.255 a bushel at 4:58 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade after touching $4.2525, the lowest since Dec. 19. Prices slumped 39 percent this year.

World corn production may reach a record 964.3 million metric tons in the 2013-14 season as U.S. farmers harvest the biggest crop ever, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. The country is set to be the biggest exporter in the period, followed by Brazil, while Argentina’s shipments will tie for third place with Ukraine, according to the USDA.

Soybeans for delivery in March fell 0.6 percent to $13.0575 a bushel, set to retreat 7.4 percent this year, and wheat for the same delivery month declined 0.4 percent to $6.0675 a bushel, down 22 percent in annual terms. In Paris, milling wheat for delivery in March rose 0.4 percent to 205 euros ($282) a ton on NYSE Liffe, leaving this year’s decline at 18 percent.


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