Corn Trades Near Four-Month Low as U.S. Crop Conditions Improve

June 17, 2014 03:50 AM
Corn Trades Near Four-Month Low as U.S. Crop Conditions Improve

Corn dropped to near a four-month low in Chicago trading after conditions for this year’s crop improved in the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter of the grain, and amid an outlook for favorable weather in the Midwest.

About 76 percent of U.S. corn was in good or excellent condition as of June 15, up from 75 percent a week earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported yesterday. Domestic corn production is set to reach a record 13.935 billion bushels from 13.925 billion last year, the USDA forecast June 11.

Corn for December delivery fell 0.5 percent to $4.40 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade by 7:38 a.m. local time after yesterday falling 1.2 percent, the most in a week. Prices reached $4.3875 on June 12, the lowest since Feb. 11.

"For the corn and soybean crops, both are clearly off to great starts," economist Dennis Gartman wrote in his newsletter today. "The corn rating is the fifth-best in history while the bean crop’s rating is the best ever."

Soybeans had emerged from the ground for 83 percent of the crop, compared with a five-year average of 77 percent, the USDA reported. About 73 percent of the soybean crop was rated in good or excellent condition on June 15, compared with 74 percent a week earlier.

Soybeans for delivery in November fell 0.5 percent to $12.1125 a bushel.

"Grain futures are lower as crop ratings are off to a great start," Paul Georgy, the president of Allendale Inc., said in a market comment. "Last week’s heat and rain through the Midwest improved the corn crop."

A pattern of showers in the Midwest will continue to limit the risk of "more extreme heat" in the next two weeks, while favorable moisture supplies will aid growth, Commodity Weather Group Inc. wrote in a report today. Scattered showers and thunderstorms will maintain adequate to surplus soil moisture for corn and soybeans in the region, DTN wrote in a forecast.

Wheat for September delivery advanced 0.1 percent to $5.92 a bushel in Chicago, while milling wheat for November delivery traded on Euronext in Paris fell 0.3 percent to 187.25 euros ($253.69) a metric ton.

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