Bloomberg News

Corn Falls to Six-Month Low on ‘Shocking’ USDA Data; Soy Gains

July 01, 2011

July 1 (Bloomberg) -- Corn futures tumbled to the lowest since December after a U.S. government report unexpectedly showed reduced demand and a higher number of planted acres reported by farmers this year. Soybeans and wheat rose.

Growers seeded 92.282 million acres of corn this year, 1.8 percent more than projected by analysts in a Bloomberg News survey and the second-highest since 1944, the Department of Agriculture said yesterday. Stockpiles as of June 1 were 3.67 billion bushels, 12 percent higher than anticipated. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. slashed its price forecasts for corn, soybeans and wheat.

“The market is still adjusting to shocking USDA forecasts for rising supplies,” said Roy Huckabay, an executive vice president at the Linn Group, a broker in Chicago. “There are still people caught long and trying to get out of losing positions.”

Corn futures for December delivery fell 25.5 cents, or 4.1 percent, to $5.95 a bushel at 11:46 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price touched $5.755, the lowest since Dec. 13. In June, the contract slumped 7.8 percent, the most since January 2010.

The U.S. is the world’s biggest exporter of corn, wheat and soybeans.

Soybean futures rose the most in six weeks on speculation that reduced Midwest plantings will trim supplies from the U.S.

Planting dropped to 75.208 million acres, less than analysts expected and below the 76.609 million estimated in March, as farmers switched to corn, USDA data showed yesterday.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose 22.75 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $13.165 a bushel. A close at that price would mark the biggest gain for a most-active contract since May 18.

Wheat Rebounds

Wheat futures for September delivery rose 2 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $6.1625 a bushel. Earlier, the price touched $5.92, the lowest for a most-active contract since July 29. The grain tumbled 8.9 percent yesterday.

Corn is the largest U.S. crop, valued at $66.7 billion in 2010, followed by soybeans at $38.9 billion, government figures show. Wheat is fourth at $13 billion, behind hay.

--Editors: Patrick McKiernan, Millie Munshi

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Wilson in Chicago at jwilson29@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McKiernan at pmckiernan@bloomberg.net


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