Bloomberg News

Corn, Soybean Futures Decline as Rain Aids South American Crops

January 31, 2012

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Corn fell for the first time in eight sessions and soybeans dropped the most in four months on speculation that rain in South America will boost crop potential, reducing demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter.

About 90 percent of the fields in Argentina and Brazil will get as much as 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) of rain during the next 10 days, helping corn to pollinate and boosting flowering in soybeans, Global Weather Monitoring said today in a report. The countries are the biggest soybean growers after the U.S.

“Rainfall will be beneficial for boosting yields,” Chad Henderson, a market analyst for Prime Agricultural Consultants Inc. in Brookfield, Wisconsin, said in a telephone interview. “The rains should halt any further deterioration in yields and slow buying of U.S. grains.”

Corn futures for March delivery fell 1.6 percent to close at $6.3175 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price gained 8.1 percent in the previous seven sessions on speculation that dry weather would reduce South American yields and boost demand for U.S. supplies.

Soybean futures for March delivery declined 2.8 percent to $11.8525 a bushel in Chicago, the biggest drop since Sept. 30. The commodity jumped 5.2 percent the past two weeks.

Prices also fell on speculation that demand will slow as the dollar gains and concern mounts that European leaders will fail to stem the region’s debt crisis, Henderson said. The dollar rose the most in two weeks against a basket of six major currencies, while the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 commodities declined the most since Jan. 20.

The U.S. was the world’s largest exporter of both commodities in the year that ended Sept. 30, according to government estimates. Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $66.7 billion in 2010, followed by soybeans at $38.9 billion.

--Editors: Millie Munshi, 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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