Sept. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Soybean futures dropped to the lowest in four weeks on speculation that U.S. yield potential may improve after recent rains and a reduced threat of freezing temperatures. Corn and wheat also declined.
Parts of the Midwest have received as much as 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) of rain in the past seven days, benefiting some late-maturing soybeans, Commodity Weather Group LLC said in a report today. Warm, drier weather next week will aid harvesting, the forecaster said. Futures rose as much as 21 percent since Aug. 7 as heat and dry weather spurred the government on Sept. 12 to cut its crop estimate 7.9 percent below a July forecast.
“Some farmers in the eastern Midwest are pleasantly surprised by early harvest results and rains the past week will help boost bean weights” in fields west of the Mississippi River, Mark Schultz, the chief analyst for Northstar Commodity Investment Inc. in Minneapolis, said in a telephone interview. “It’s going to be much drier next week to speed up harvest, and that will improve supplies.”
Soybean futures for November delivery tumbled 1.8 percent to close at $13.1525 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching $13.1175, the lowest since Aug. 23. Prices declined 4.8 percent this week, halting a six-week rally.
Corn futures for December delivery fell 1.8 percent to $4.51 a bushel in Chicago, capping a third straight weekly drop. The price touched a 35-month low on Aug. 13 at $4.4575 as U.S. production is expected to rise to a record.
Farmers harvested about 4 percent of corn crops as of Sept. 15, behind the five-year average pace of 10 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“Farmers are very happy with the yields they have been harvesting,” Schultz said. “It’s going to be a big crop.”
Wheat futures for delivery in December retreated 1.6 percent to $6.4625 a bushel on the CBOT.
--Editors: Thomas Galatola, Patrick McKiernan