Bloomberg News

Corn, Soybeans Decline as Export Demand Ebbs for U.S. Supplies

September 15, 2011

Sept. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Corn prices dropped to a five-week low and soybeans fell, capping the longest slump in five weeks, after a government report showed export demand declined in the U.S., the world’s top producer.

Export sales of corn in the year that began Sept. 1 fell 9.6 percent to 14.4 million metric tons from a year earlier, and soybeans slumped 20 percent, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today. The agency has forecast that corn shipments will fall to the lowest in nine years and soybean sales will drop to a three-year low.

“There’s a transition taking place from the focus on falling production to one of faltering demand,” Dave Marshall, a farm-marketing adviser at Toay Commodity Futures Group LLC in Nashville, Illinois, said today in a telephone interview. “U.S. export customers are turning to cheaper sources of feed wheat to replace corn and buying more South American soybeans.”

Corn futures for December delivery dropped 23.25 cents, or 3.2 percent, to close at $7.01 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest drop in two weeks. Earlier, the price touched $7.0025, the lowest for a most-active contract since Aug. 11. Still, the grain has risen 17 percent since July 1 as hot, dry weather reduced U.S. yields.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 24 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $13.5875 a bushel on the CBOT, dropping for the fourth straight day, after touching $13.565, the lowest since Aug. 19.

Prices also fell on speculation that overnight frost and freezing weather from North Dakota to Wisconsin did not severely damage U.S. crops, Marshall said.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $66.7 billion in 2010, followed by soybeans at $38.9 billion, government data show.

--Editors: Steve Stroth, Daniel Enoch

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net


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