Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Corn and soybean futures fell to the lowest prices in more than a week on speculation that warm, dry weather is advancing the harvest across the southern U.S. Wheat also fell.
The average cash price for corn fell 5.3 percent yesterday to the lowest since January 2011, Minneapolis Grain Exchange data show. The premium paid for corn delivered to export terminals near New Orleans dropped to the lowest in almost eight weeks, government data show. Soybean premiums in New Orleans fell 15 percent yesterday to the lowest since July 25.
“As more new-crop corn reaches the market from early harvest in the South, historic premiums for old-crop shipments are tumbling,” Bill Gary, the president of Commodity Information Systems Inc. in Oklahoma City, said in a report. “The same situation is expected for soybeans as southern harvest begins to reach markets. Futures must now begin to find economic value based on large new-crop supplies and uncompetitive U.S. prices in world markets.”
Corn futures for delivery in December slid 1.2 percent to close at $4.695 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching $4.6625, the lowest since Aug. 23. The most-active contract this year fell 33 percent after farmers planted the most acres since 1936 and the government said production will rise 28 percent to a record.
Soybean futures for delivery in November dropped 2.5 percent to $13.525 a bushel in Chicago, after reaching $13.415, the lowest since Aug. 23. The oilseed rose 2.2 percent yesterday, the most since Aug. 26, on speculation that dryness in the past 30 days hurt yield prospects.
A report yesterday showed heat and dryness had less effect on crop conditions in the U.S. than some analysts expected.
An estimated 54 percent of the soybean crop was in good or excellent condition in the latest week, down from 58 percent on Aug. 25, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported yesterday, based on a survey of the 18 biggest growing states. The corn crop was rated 56 percent good to excellent, down from 59 percent a week ago.
The weekly U.S. vegetative health index showed crop conditions improved from North Dakota to Missouri and in the Southeastern U.S., according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Plant conditions across most of the eastern half of the U.S. were near normal or better than normal as of Sept. 2, government data show
“The harvest is moving north and crops are close to average condition,” Chad Henderson, the president of Prime Agricultural Consultants Inc. in Brookfield, Wisconsin, said in a telephone interview. “Livestock producers and ethanol makers are waiting for harvest to expand and push down prices before they buy.”
Wheat futures for delivery in December fell 0.2 percent to $6.4625 a bushel on the CBOT, capping a sixth straight decline, the longest slump since July 1.
--Editors: Steve Stroth, Thomas Galatola