Soybeans Slide as U.S. Crop Conditions Improve; Corn Declines

Jun 17, 2014 3:27 pm ET

June 17 (Bloomberg) -- Soybeans fell on signs of improving conditions for crops in the U.S., the world’s biggest grower. Corn fell to the lowest since February.

About 73 percent of soybeans were in good or excellent condition as of June 15, up from 64 percent a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported yesterday. Eighty-three percent of the plants had emerged from the ground, compared with a five-year average of 77 percent, the USDA reported.

“There are excellent crop conditions,” Greg Grow, the director of agribusiness at Archer Financial Services in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “There is a bit of excessive moisture in the Midwest, but overall the weather is favorable for crop growing in June.”

Soybean futures for delivery in November fell 0.4 percent to settle at $12.12 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, prices touched $12.025, the lowest since June 5.

Corn futures for December delivery slid 0.6 percent to $4.395 a bushel, after reaching $4.3625, the lowest since Feb. 4.

About 76 percent of the crop in good or excellent condition, up from 75 percent a week earlier, the USDA reported. Domestic corn production is set to reach a record 13.935 billion bushels from 13.925 billion last year, the agency said on June 11.

“For the corn and soybean crops, both are clearly off to great starts,” economist Dennis Gartman wrote in his newsletter today. “The corn rating is the fifth-best in history, while the bean crop’s rating is the best ever.”

A pattern of showers in the Midwest will continue to limit the risk of “more extreme heat” in the next two weeks, while favorable moisture supplies will aid growth, Commodity Weather Group Inc. wrote in a report today.

Wheat futures for September delivery fell 0.1 percent to $5.9075 a bushel in Chicago.

--With assistance from Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris and Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne.