By STEVE ROTHWELL, AP Markets Writer
The price of corn fell to its lowest level in nearly 3 ½ years Thursday ahead of a government report that could show supplies are abundant following a bumper crop in the U.S.
U.S. farmers had a record harvest last year and the Department of Agriculture will release its latest estimate of crop supply and demand on Friday. Forecasts for a strong harvest in Brazil are also weighing on prices.
Corn for March delivery fell 5 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $4.12 a bushel, its lowest price since August 2010. The price is down 2.4 percent this year, after slumping almost 40 percent in 2013.
"Corn prices are going to be depressed," said Sterling Smith, a commodity strategist and Citigroup. "We're going to have a very big corn stock."
Wheat for March delivery fell 4.5 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $5.84 a bushel. Soybeans for the same month rose 4.5 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $12.74.
Metals were mixed.
Gold for February rose $3.90, or 0.3 percent, to $1,229.40 an ounce. March silver rose 14.4 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $19.68 an ounce. Platinum for April also rose, climbing $5.70, or 0.4 percent, to $1,419.90 an ounce.
Copper for March delivery fell 4.35 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $3.30 per pound. Palladium for March dropped $1.80, or 0.2 percent, to $736.50 a pound.
The price of oil edged lower.
Benchmark U.S. oil for February delivery fell 67 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $91.66 a barrel in New York. Oil prices have fallen 6 percent this year on signs that the U.S. has ample supplies.
In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline fell 1.37 cents at $2.64 a gallon. Natural gas fell 21 cents to $4 per 1,000 cubic feet. Heating oil dropped 2.8 cents to $2.92 a gallon.