June 14 (Bloomberg) -- Corn fell to a one-month low and soybeans declined on bets that favorable weather will boost yields in the U.S., the world’s biggest grower and exporter.
About 69 percent of the corn crop was in good or excellent condition on June 12, up from 67 percent a week earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday. An estimated 87 percent of soybeans were planted, compared with the average of 89 percent in the previous five years.
“The markets are focused on rapid planting progress and improving crop conditions,” said Nate Smith, a broker at the Linn Group in Chicago. Warmer weather and some rain is forecast for next week, “and that will maintain favorable growing conditions,” he said.
Corn futures for December delivery fell 19.5 cents, or 2.8 percent, to close at $6.85 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price touched $6.7475, the lowest for the most-active contract since May 12.
On June 9, December futures reached $7.2275, an all-time high for the contract. On June 10, the price for July delivery, the most-active by open interest at the time, rose to a record $7.9975.
Soybean futures for November delivery fell 13 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $13.6375 a bushel, the contract’s fourth straight decline. The USDA said last week that reserves before the next harvest will rise as export demand ebbs.
China’s central bank ordered lenders to set aside more cash in reserves as inflation accelerated to the fastest pace since July 2008. The country is the leading importer of soybeans, and it’s the biggest consumer of corn behind the U.S.
“Rising inflation in China may lead to interest-rate hikes and reduce speculative buying interest,” Smith said. “The markets are watching for clues about money flows from investors.”
Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $66.7 billion in 2010, followed by soybeans at $38.9 billion, government figures show.
--Editors: Patrick McKiernan, Daniel Enoch
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