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Corn fell for the fifth straight session, the longest slump since August, on signs of slowing demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest producer. Soybeans and wheat also declined.
In the week ended Oct. 18, export sales of corn totaled 142,331 metric tons, down 58 percent from a year earlier, data yesterday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed. Total sales commitments are 48 percent below the same pace a year earlier. U.S. production of ethanol since Sept. 1 was below the average of the past two years, Energy Department data show.
“Overseas demand, ethanol production and domestic feed demand are all shrinking,” Mark Schultz, the chief analyst for Northstar Commodity Investment Co. in Minneapolis, said in a telephone interview. “There is little end-user interest in corn because no one is making a profit producing meat or fuel.”
Corn futures for delivery in December declined 0.3 percent to $7.3975 a bushel at 1:13 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, heading for the longest slump since Aug. 28. The price dropped 2.6 percent during the previous four days and is down 13 percent from the record of $8.49 on Aug. 10.
Soybean futures for January delivery slid 0.3 percent to $15.61 a bushel on the CBOT. A close at that price would still mark a gain of 1.6 percent this week on increased overseas demand for supplies from the U.S., the biggest producer.
Corn and soybeans also fell on forecasts for rain next week in northern and eastern Brazil, boosting soil moisture for planting this year’s crop, Northstar’s Schultz. Drier weather next week may firm muddy fields for farm equipment and accelerate delayed planting in northern Argentina and southern Brazil, Schultz said.
Wheat futures for December delivery fell 0.9 percent to $8.65 a bushel in Chicago. A close at that price would leave the grain down 0.8 percent this week, after rising 1.8 percent last week.
Corn is the most valuable U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, hay and wheat, USDA data show.
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