Bloomberg News

Corn, Soybeans Surge as Hot, Dry Weather Menaces U.S. Crops

July 09, 2012

Corn rose the most allowed by the Chicago Board of Trade and soybeans extended a rally to a four- year high as hot, dry weather in the past two weeks eroded prospects for output in the U.S., the world’s biggest grower of the crops.

More than 50 percent of the growing region was stressed by temperatures that exceeded 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius) on at least six of the past 14 days, T-Storm Weather LLC said in a report. As of yesterday, more than 91 percent of the production area was dry at the topsoil level and 59 percent was at high risk of intense stress and lower yields, the Chicago-based analyst said.

“The threat of irreversible yield losses from Midwest dryness” is boosting demand, Jim Gerlach, the president of A/C Trading Inc. in Fowler, Indiana said in a report. “The extreme heat of this past week, when combined with very dry soils, has likely impacted pollination of corn in many areas of the Midwest with significant reductions in yield potential.”

On the CBOT, corn futures for December delivery, after the harvest, jumped 36.5 cents, or 5.3 percent to $7.295 a bushel at 10:40 a.m. Earlier, the price soared by the limit of 40 cents to $7.33, the highest for a most-active contract since Sept. 13.

Soybean futures for November delivery gained 3.1 percent to $15.5775 a bushel after reaching $15.7125, the highest since July 15, 2008.

The record high for a contract with the greatest open interest was $16.3675 on July 3, 2008.

Soybean futures for July delivery, before the harvest, rose 2.9 percent to $16.67. Earlier, the price reached $16.795, the highest ever for any contract.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is scheduled to release forecasts on domestic production and global supply and demand on July 11. Traders and analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News projected smaller U.S. and world reserves.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $76.5 billion in 2011, followed by soybeans at $35.8 billion, government figures show.

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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