Bloomberg News

Soybeans, Corn Rise on Shrinking U.S. Harvests; Wheat Gains

August 15, 2012

Soybeans and corn rose for the first time this week on speculation that the U.S. government may have underestimated crop damage from the hottest July since 1936. Wheat gained.

Rain during the next week will be light, and the drought stress will expand to about 45 percent of the Midwest from 35 percent today, the Commodity Weather Group LLC said in a report. The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Aug. 10 said domestic corn output will drop 13 percent to a six-year low of 10.78 billion bushels this year while the soybean harvest slips to 2.692 billion bushels, the lowest since 2007.

“Early harvest results are disappointing, and if they are indicative of the rest of the Midwest, then the risk is for crops to get smaller than the USDA is forecasting,” Jim Gerlach, the president of A/C Trading Inc. in Fowler, Indiana, said in a telephone interview. “Traders are focused on higher prices to slow global demand for shrinking U.S. crops, especially for soybeans.”

Soybean futures for November delivery gained 2.2 percent to $16.325 a bushel at 10:01 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after falling 2.8 percent in the first two days of this week. The price touched a record $16.915 on July 23.

Corn futures for December delivery rose 1.1 percent to $7.98 a bushel in Chicago, the first gain in three sessions. The most-active contract touched a record $8.49 on Aug. 10.

Wheat futures for December delivery advanced 0.8 percent to $8.655 a bushel on the CBOT, after yesterday touching $8.5725, the lowest since Aug. 2. The price fell 7.4 percent the past three sessions, the biggest such slide since June 2011.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $76.5 billion in 2011, followed by soybeans at $35.8 billion, government figures show. Wheat is the fourth-largest at $14.4 billion, behind hay.

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

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


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