Corn Swings Before USDA Report Predicted to Show Higher Supply

08:50AM May 09, 2013
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May 9 (Bloomberg) -- Corn swung between gains and losses as traders weighed prospects for increasing inventories against wet weather that threatens to extend planting delays in the U.S., the world’s biggest grower.

U.S. corn stockpiles will surge 167 percent to 51.77 million metric tons (2.038 billion bushels) by next year’s harvest, the biggest expansion since at least 1960, according to a Bloomberg survey. The corn harvest in the U.S. will climb 31 percent to a record 358.7 million tons this season, as the nation recovers from the worst drought since the 1930s, the survey showed. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest outlook is due tomorrow in Washington.

"Given even reasonably normal planting and abandonment numbers and even modestly normal weather for the remainder of the year, we cannot put together a scenario where carryovers do anything other than rise sharply," economist Dennis Gartman said today in his daily Gartman Letter.

Corn for July delivery was little changed at $6.3325 a bushel by 6:05 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after earlier dropping as much as 0.6 percent and gaining as much as 0.2 percent. The price has tumbled 25 percent since drought sent the grain to a record $8.49 a bushel in August. Futures trading volumes were 30 percent lower than the average for the past 100 days for this time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Planting Delay

U.S. planting has progressed at the slowest pace since 1984 after wet weather in recent weeks, USDA data show. Postponed crop development may leave plants more vulnerable than usual to hot weather in coming months, Macquarie Group Ltd. analyst Chris Gadd said today in a report. The U.S. Plains and Midwest may see as much as 0.7 inch of rain today from Kansas to Illinois, AccuWeather Inc. said in a report.

"With a delayed planting we are highly likely to see delays to the pollination," Gadd wrote. "The core implication is that we are now far more likely to pollinate under hotter and drier conditions than would have been seen if a normal planting window had occurred."

Soybeans for July delivery rose 0.4 percent to $13.9625 a bushel.

Wheat for July delivery dropped 0.1 percent to $7.0525 a bushel in Chicago. In Paris, milling wheat for November delivery increased 0.4 percent to 209 euros ($274.68) a ton on NYSE Liffe.

Global output of coarse grain including corn and barley may be a record 1.27 billion tons in 2013, while wheat production may be larger than previously expected at 695 million tons, the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization said today. Harvests in the U.S., Russia and Europe were projected to recover from dry weather in the previous year, while Chinese coarse grain output may rise to a record after farmers expanded planting, the agency said.


Bloomberg News

--With assistance from Jeff Wilson in Chicago. Editor: John Deane

To contact the reporters on this story: Whitney McFerron in London at [email protected]; Luzi Ann Javier in Singapore at [email protected]

To contact the editor responsible for this story: To contact the editor responsible for this Claudia Carpenter at [email protected]