Corn, Soybeans Fall to 4-Year Lows as U.S. Crops Seen Improving

Sep 03, 2014 2:49 pm ET

Sept. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Corn and soybean futures dropped to the lowest in four years as crops in the U.S., the world’s largest grower, were in the best condition in two decades. Wheat fell as tension eased between Ukraine and Russia.

About 74 percent of domestic corn and 72 percent of soybeans were rated in good to excellent condition as of Aug. 31, the best for the week since 1994, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday. INTL FCStone Inc. and Allendale Inc. both forecast production will top the USDA’s Aug. 12 forecasts.

“This is an ideal end to the growing season,” Jeff Beal, a market analyst for Gulke Group Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “There’s the confirmation every day that goes by that we’ve got huge crops out there. Right now, the sellers are winning.”

Corn futures for December delivery dropped 3.2 percent to close at $3.52 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Prices touched $3.5125, the lowest since June 2010.

Soybean futures for November delivery slumped 1.2 percent to $10.20 a bushel, after reaching $10.125, the lowest since September 2010. Money managers as of Aug. 26 held the largest net-short position on the oilseed since 2006, betting on further price declines, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show.

Wheat futures for December delivery fell 3.5 percent to $5.3575 a bushel. Earlier, prices dropped to $5.35, the lowest since Aug. 4.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko largely agreed on steps toward easing the conflict in Ukraine, Putin’s spokesman said. The two countries will account for about 21 percent of world wheat exports, USDA data show, and grain shipments have continued from the region even amid unrest.