Corn Futures Decline to Four-Year Low on Favorable U.S. Weather

Jul 21, 2014 3:12 pm ET

July 21 (Bloomberg) -- Corn futures fell to the lowest in four years on mild temperatures forecast for crop regions in the U.S., the world’s largest producer. Soybeans dropped, and wheat extended a slump to the cheapest since July 2010.

A lack of heat in the majority of the Midwest in the next two weeks will aid late corn pollination and soybean growth, Commodity Weather Group said today in a report. The corn yield may rise to a record 171 bushels per acre, topping a government estimate, the Bethesda, Maryland-based company said July 17, citing analysis of crop conditions and vegetative health.

“For the most part, yield expectations continue to climb,” Bill Gentry, a marketing consultant at Risk Management Commodities Inc. in Lafayette, Indiana, said in a telephone interview. “The weather is very benign.”

Corn futures for December delivery fell 1.7 percent to close at $3.72 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price touched $3.705, the lowest for a most-active contract since July 14, 2010. The price has dropped 26 percent in the past 12 months.

In the week ended yesterday, crop conditions were probably unchanged from a week earlier, with 76 percent of plants rated good to excellent, according to the average of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington will issue an update at 4 p.m.

Wheat futures for September delivery fell 0.4 percent to $5.30 a bushel. Earlier, the price touched $5.2375, the lowest since July 7, 2010. As of July 15, money managers increased bets on a decline for the fifth straight week, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on July 18.

Soybean futures for November delivery dropped 1.3 percent to $10.715 a bushel. Hedge funds turned bearish on the oilseed for the first time since December 2011, CFTC data showed.

Wheat has dropped 20 percent in the past 12 months, and soybeans fell 16 percent.

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