Crop Slips as Planting Seen Up, Weekly Export Sales Slide

March 22, 2013 03:53 AM
Crop Slips as Planting Seen Up, Weekly Export Sales Slide

March 22 (Bloomberg) -- Corn declined for the first time in seven days as U.S. farmers prepare to plant the most acres since the 1930s and after U.S. export sales of the grain fell last week. Soybeans and wheat also dropped.

U.S. farmers may plant 97.339 million acres of corn, the most since 1936, the average estimate of 32 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg shows. Soybean area will climb to the highest ever and wheat will increase to a four-year high, the survey showed. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is scheduled to release its estimates, based on a national survey of growers, on March 28.

"The expectation is certainly for good acreage for row crops," said Michael Pitts, a commodity sales director at National Australia Bank Ltd. "The report on March 28 is going to be the market driver for the next few weeks."

Corn for May delivery lost as much as 0.6 percent to $7.2825 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade and was at $7.2975 by 6:43 a.m. local time. Still, futures are poised for a 1.8 percent gain this week.

World corn production may climb 9 percent in the 2013-14 crop year, with the U.S. harvest predicted to rise as much as 30 percent, the International Grains Council said yesterday. Global corn stockpiles may jump 19 percent from a 16-year low expected at the end of the 2012-13 crop year, as output rises faster than consumption, the council said.

U.S. net corn export sales were 275,516 tons in the seven days ended March 14, less than half the previous week’s sales of 653,318 tons, the USDA reported yesterday. Wheat net sales were 573,329 tons from 1.09 million tons a week earlier.

"The weekly export numbers turned out generally disappointing for all products," Paris-based farm adviser Agritel wrote in a comment today.

Soybeans for May delivery fell 0.1 percent to $14.4775 a bushel, with the oilseed climbing 1.5 percent this week. Wheat for May delivery dropped 0.3 percent to $7.265 a bushel, trimming a second weekly gain.

Milling wheat futures for delivery in May traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris gained 0.1 percent to 241.75 euros ($313.24) a ton.


--With assistance from Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris. Editor: John Deane


To contact the reporter on this story: Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne at


To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Poole at; Claudia Carpenter at


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