* Rain and lower temperatures fuel forecasts for big
* Private forecaster pegs U.S. soy crop below traders'
* Wheat tumbles on technical selling, spread unwinding
(Updates with U.S. closing prices)
By Tom Polansek
CHICAGO, Aug 5 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures on Monday fell
to their lowest level in nearly three years and soybeans notched
a one-year low as favourable crop weather encouraged forecasts
for record-large U.S. harvests.
Wheat futures dropped to their lowest level in more than a
year on technical selling, unwinding of spreads and on a lack of
fresh export deals that would benefit U.S. exporters.
Importers and domestic buyers also are delaying large
purchases of corn and soy before the autumn harvests because
they expect prices will drop further, traders and analysts said.
The harvest is expected to replenish historically low
supplies of the crops after the worst U.S. drought in more than
50 years devastated output last year.
"All buyers are just 'hands in their pockets,' knowing we
have a harvest in front of us," said Don Roose, president of
U.S. Commodities brokerage.
September corn touched a session low of $4.65-1/2.
That was the lowest price for a front-month contract since
The nearby contract has dropped 44.7 percent since reaching
a record high of $8.43-3/4 a bushel a year ago as the drought
December corn, which represents the next harvest, also
Private crop forecaster Informa Economics trimmed its
estimate for corn production 0.8 percent to 14.14 billion
bushels. That would still be a record crop and topped the U.S.
Department of Agriculture's latest forecast for 13.95 billion
Two other forecasters, FCStone and Lanworth, last week
predicted the corn harvest will exceed the USDA's current
Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) September corn closed
down 6-3/4 cents per bushel at $4.69-1/4 per bushel, August
soybeans were down 1-1/4 at $13.29-3/4 and September wheat
was down 15-1/4 at $6.45-1/4.
INFORMA CUTS SOY OUTLOOK
Informa lowered its estimate for soybean production 3.3
percent to 3.266 billion bushels, keeping it below USDA's
estimate for 3.42 billion. The estimate was lower than expected,
traders said, and temporarily pushed new-crop soybeans into
The outlook fed a perception among traders that "if there's
going to be a bullish production surprise, it's probably going
to be on the soybean side," said Jim Gerlach, president of A/C
Trading. He said too much rain during crop development can be
unfavourable for soy plants.
The USDA will update its harvest estimates in a monthly
report on Aug. 12.
A weekly USDA crop progress report due later on Monday will
give traders a fresh indication about the development of corn
Soybeans felt additional pressure from China's plans to
release 500,000 tonnes of soybeans from its reserves this week
because the sales could slow imports, traders said. Chinese
prices, however, were likely to be more expensive than imported
soy, some traders said.
CBOT wheat sank as traders unwound long wheat/short corn
spreads after wheat became too expensive relative to corn,
traders said. Both grains are used to feed livestock.
Prices at 1:43 p.m. CDT (1843 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD
CHG CHG CHG
CBOT corn 469.25 -6.75 -1.4% -32.8%
CBOT soy 1329.75 -1.25 -0.1% -6.3%
CBOT meal 402.60 -9.50 -2.3% -4.3%
CBOT soyoil 42.72 0.34 0.8% -13.1%
CBOT wheat 645.25 -3.50 -0.5% -17.1%
CBOT rice 1576.00 -4.00 -0.3% 6.1%
EU wheat 184.00 -2.50 -1.3% -26.5%
US crude 106.55 -0.39 -0.4% 16.0%
Dow Jones 15,602 -56 -0.4% 19.1%
Gold 1304.26 -7.24 -0.6% -22.1%
Euro/dollar 1.3260 -0.0021 -0.2% 0.5%
Dollar Index 81.8600 -0.0480 -0.1% 2.6%
Baltic Freight 1058 -7 -0.7% 51.4%
(Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen
Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Grant McCool)