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US MIDDAY: corn tumbles




  • Chicago corn dropped to a nine-month low on Monday, extending its biggest two-day slide since January 2009, as larger-than-expected US stockpiles added pressure on the market. Pulled down by corn, Chicago wheat also registered its lowest nearby price in nine months, and soyabeans touched a three-month low. Chicago Board of Trade most-active May corn fell 39-1/4 cents or 5.7 percent at $6.56 per bushel as of at 11:04 am CDT (1604 GMT), touching the lowest price since late June. 

    Corn hit the lows of the session on selling by hedge funds, said Arlan Suderman, a senior market analyst at Water Street Advisory. Buying by end users on the breaks kept a floor under the market, he said. September and December corn fell more modestly after the US Department of Agriculture’s forecast last week for US farmers to sow 97.3 million acres was in line with expectations. 

    The USDA surprised the market with forecasts for old-crop corn supplies, estimating the stockpile at the lowest in nine years, up from an average estimate of the lowest in 15 years. It pegged corn stocks as of March 1 at 5.399 billion bushels, above the average analyst estimate of 5.013 billion bushels. The USDA also said farmers would plant the highest corn acreage since 1936. 

    Cold weather this week in the US Midwest and showers in the Plains hard red winter wheat region will slow early corn plantings, but also help boost wheat production prospects, agricultural meteorologist Kyle Tapley of MDA Weather Services said on Monday. CBOT May soyabeans gave up 9-1/4 cents or 0.7 percent to $13.95-1/2 a bushel, while May wheat lost 16-1/2 cents or 2.4 percent to $6.71-1/4 per bushel. 

    Investment bank Goldman Sachs added to the bearish mood on Monday by lowering its price forecasts for corn, soyabeans and wheat, citing the larger than expected stocks, trade sources said. Goldman lowered its three-month price forecast for Chicago Board of Trade corn futures to $6.50 per bushel from $7.50 previously. For CBOT soyabeans, Goldman lowered its three-month price forecast to $13.50 a bushel from $14 and cut CBOT wheat’s outlook to $6.50 from $7.80. 

    Copyright Reuters, 2013

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