Bloomberg News

Corn Declines to a Two-Month Low as Chinese Demand May Weaken

December 07, 2011

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Corn fell to a two-month low in Chicago on concern Chinese demand for imported crops may slow as the U.S. Department of Agriculture might raise grain-inventory estimates. Wheat and soybeans declined.

A purchasing managers’ index for Chinese services industries slid last month. From Sept. 1 to Dec. 1, the amount of U.S. corn inspected for export dropped 10 percent from a year earlier, USDA data show. China is the world’s biggest consumer of corn, wheat and pork and the top soybean importer.

“The demand in China -- there’s evidence it’s slowing,” said William Adams, whose Resilience AG fund has gained 5.4 percent since its inception in August. “One could suggest that they’re going to buy fewer soybeans, eat less pork and buy less corn.”

Corn for March delivery retreated 1.5 percent to $5.82 a bushel by 1:15 p.m. London time on the Chicago Board of Trade, sliding for a fourth session. The grain touched $5.80, the lowest price since Oct. 4.

Wheat for March delivery dropped 1.1 percent to $6.045 a bushel. Milling wheat for March delivery traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris fell 0.7 percent to 176 euros ($235) a metric ton.

The USDA may forecast 2012 global wheat stockpiles at 202.89 million tons on Dec. 9, up from a November estimate of 202.6 million tons, according to a Bloomberg News survey.

Higher wheat output in Australia and quality downgrades will add to “a glut of feed grain,” Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said in a report e-mailed today.

World inventories of corn may reach 122.13 million tons, higher than the USDA’s forecast of 121.57 million tons last month, according to the survey’s average estimate.

Soybeans for delivery in January fell 0.4 percent to $11.2225 a bushel in Chicago.

--With assistance from Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne and Jeff Wilson in Chicago. Editors: Dan Weeks, John Deane.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ranjeetha Pakiam in Kuala Lumpur at rpakiam@bloomberg.net; Tony C. Dreibus in London at tdreibus@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net.


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