Soybeans Drop Most in 19 Months as Dry Weather to Aid U.S. Crop

May 01, 2014 4:57 pm ET

May 1 (Bloomberg) -- Soybeans fell the most in 19 months on speculation that planting in the U.S. will accelerate as weather turns warmer and drier. Corn and wheat also declined.

The Midwest growing region will be mostly dry until at least May 8, and higher temperatures early next week will help dry out wet soils so farmers can seed crops, Commodity Weather Group said in an e-mailed report today. Farmers are just starting to sow soybeans, and timely planting means output may rise 21 percent to a record, according to Jefferies Bache LLC.

“The improved planting weather increases the outlook for a record crop,” Anne Frick, a senior vice president at Jefferies Bache in New York, said in a telephone interview. “The market is likely to be facing much lower prices” when U.S. farmers begin harvesting in September, Frick said.

Soybean futures for July delivery slid 3.4 percent to close at $14.61 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since Sept. 17, 2012. Before today, the oilseed rose 17 percent this year as U.S. inventories before this year’s harvest were projected at the lowest since at least 1964.

Prices also fell after U.S. exporters reported a net cancellation of 16,421 metric tons in the week ended April 24, the first drop since August, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report today.

“The sales cancellation hurt market psychology and may have triggered speculative selling,” Frick said. “There is a big risk the rally is over.”

Corn futures for July delivery fell 2.3 percent to $5.07 a bushel, the biggest drop for a most-active contract in a month.

“The forecast is nearly ideal for farmers to get seeds in the ground and for plants to emerge very quickly,” Jim Gerlach, the president of A/C Trading Co. in Fowler, Indiana, said in a telephone interview. “We could have big yields.”

Wheat futures for July delivery lost 2 percent to $7.0725 a bushel. Prices rose in the previous seven sessions, reaching $7.2475 yesterday, the highest since May 9.

--With assistance from Whitney McFerron in London and Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne.