Corn dropped to trade near the lowest level in four years on speculation yields in the U.S. will be better than the government forecast last month, as crop conditions for the biggest grower remained unchanged this week.
U.S. farmers may gather 14.276 billion bushels of corn, based on a survey of 32 analysts and traders by Bloomberg News, more than the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s August forecast for a record 14.032 billion bushels. Corn rated in good or excellent condition accounted for 74 percent of the crop as of Sept. 7, unchanged from a week earlier and compared with 54 percent at the same time last year, the USDA reported.
Corn for December delivery fell 0.3 percent to $3.4725 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade by 5:23 a.m. Prices fell to $3.4375 on Sept. 4, the lowest for a most-active contract since June 2010.
"The operators are expecting a USDA report that will generously revise production estimates upwards on Thursday," Paris-based farm adviser Agritel wrote in a market comment. "What is more, the concerns related to low temperatures expected for the end of the week are fading somewhat."
Corn tumbled 25 percent in the past year and soybeans dropped 26 percent as U.S. production is set for a record. Increasing supplies of crops worldwide are helping reduce global food prices, with a United Nations’ index slumping to a six- month low in July. The USDA is set to update its estimates on Sept. 11.
The key focus "will be any changes to U.S. corn and soybean yields" by the USDA, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. analysts including Paul Deane wrote in a e-mailed note today. "Most market forecasts for U.S. yields are still above the USDA."
U.S. corn yields may be 170.7 bushels an acre, compared with the USDA’s estimate of 167.4, the survey showed.
Soybeans for November delivery declined 0.3 percent to $10.0525 a bushel. Soybean production in the U.S., the world’s largest grower, will be 2 percent bigger than the government estimated last month, according to the survey.
Wheat for delivery in December fell 0.5 percent to $5.3075 a bushel in Chicago, while milling wheat for November delivery traded on Euronext in Paris advanced 0.1 percent to 170.50 euros ($219.78) a metric ton.