Reuters — U.S. corn and soybean futures fell on Monday as rains boosted recently planted crops across the U.S. Midwest and as traders weighed future export demand following a flurry of corn purchases by China last week.
Wheat futures also fell, sinking to the lowest level in more than a month as prospects for a bumper U.S. winter crop and rising global competition in export markets weighed on prices.
“People are taking risk premium out of the market. We were worried about dry conditions in Iowa, Wisconsin and part of the Dakotas. All that changed with the rain, at least for now,” said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities.
“And with the crackdown on inflation in China, people are wondering if they’re going to keep buying,” he said.
Beijing last week announced stepped-up measures to restrain soaring commodities prices that threaten to undermine China’s economic recovery.
Chicago Board of Trade July corn ended down 2-1/4 cents at $6.57-1/4 per bushel, while July soybeans were down 3-1/2 cents at $15.22-3/4 a bushel (all figures US$).
U.S. farmers are nearly finished planting corn and soybeans, and early crop condition ratings have been favourable.
Analysts polled by Reuters expect the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to report 91 per cent of corn has been planted as of Sunday along with 80 per cent of the soy crop. USDA is due to release its weekly crop progress and conditions later on Monday afternoon.
Wheat futures retreated after crop scouts on an annual tour last week projected record-high yields in Kansas, the top winter wheat state.
Rising export competition from rival suppliers in the Northern Hemisphere added pressure.
July soft red winter wheat fell 12 cents to $6.62-1/4 a bushel, the lowest for a most-active contract since April 20. July hard red winter wheat dipped 8-3/4 cents to $6.15-1/4 a bushel.
— Karl Plume reports on agriculture and ag commodities for Reuters from Chicago; additional reporting by Nigel Hunt in London and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.