Bloomberg News

Corn Futures Extend Losses as U.S. Crop Improves, Soybeans Drop

September 14, 2011

Sept. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Corn fell, extending its biggest slump in a week, as the U.S. crop improves and soybeans dropped for a third day after the Department of Agriculture’s global supply-and-demand report showed rising inventories.

The U.S. corn crop, the world’s biggest, was rated 53 percent good or excellent as of Sept. 11, up from 52 percent the prior week, USDA data show. World soybean inventories before next year’s harvest will reach 62.55 million metric tons, compared with 60.95 million estimated in August and 68.82 million this year, the USDA said on Sept. 12.

“The market is still digesting Monday’s WASDE, plus improved crop conditions, and ongoing macro uncertainty,” Rabobank International analyst Erin FitzPatrick wrote in an e- mail today, referring to the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report of USDA supply and demand forecasts. “Everyone is trying to figure out how much demand is slowing.”

Corn futures for December delivery dropped 5.5 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $7.175 a bushel by 12:04 p.m. London time on the Chicago Board of Trade. Prices fell 3 percent yesterday, the most since Sept. 1.

Soybeans for November delivery dropped 3.75 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $13.88 a bushel and earlier touched $13.7725, the lowest since Aug. 22. The oilseed declined 1.3 percent last week.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou will hold a conference call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy today on developments in the euro area amid increasing speculation that Greece may default. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner will urge European governments to step up their crisis-fighting efforts when he meets finance ministers this week, a euro-area official said.

‘Seeking Direction’

“The market appears to be seeking direction, with Europe’s sovereign issues weighing on market mentality,” Luke Mathews, a strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, wrote in a report. Corn crops in the U.S., the biggest exporter, may escape the worst of the damage from frost forecast in the Midwest, he said.

Wheat for December delivery gained 4.75 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $7.0675 a bushel, reversing earlier losses. Prices fell 3.5 percent yesterday, the biggest drop since Sept. 1. November-delivery milling wheat traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris declined 0.3 percent to 202.75 euros ($278) a ton.

--Editors: Sharon Lindores, John Deane

To contact the reporters on this story: Tony C. Dreibus in London at tdreibus@bloomberg.net; Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne at psedgman2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Deane at jdeane3@bloomberg.net


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