Cash market sinks corn futures
U.S. corn futures fell Monday, with the spot July contract down 3% on slumping cash prices for physical supplies of the grain.
Corn futures for December delivery fell to a one-year low.
Chicago Board of Trade corn for July delivery finished down 23 3/4 cents, or 3.5%, at $6.55 1/2 a bushel. The December contract settled down 9 3/4 cents, or 2%, at $5.01 1/4.
Increased farmer sales of stored supplies from last year's harvest weighed on cash prices, a feature that spurred selling in July corn futures.
"Corn fell on the feet of the cash market," said Mike Zuzolo, president of Global Commodity Analytics and Consulting in Lafayette, Ind.
"There were reports of cash merchants in central Illinois, a major grain-processing area, dropping their cash-basis levels over 20 cents a bushel." Basis is the difference between cash prices and futures prices.
"The pickup in farmer selling of stored supplies from last year's harvest is a result of producers getting more comfortable about the development of newly planted crops," said Shawn McCambridge, senior grains analyst with Jefferies Bache in Chicago.
"Weather for developing corn in the Farm Belt is ideal, meaning yields and production look promising."
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture Friday raised its estimate of corn plantings this spring. Corn acreage will total 97.4 million acres, the most since 1936 and up slightly from last year, the USDA said.
The forecast surprised analysts who had expected the cold, wet spring in the Midwest to prompt many farmers to abandon plans to sow corn. Analysts on average had expected the USDA to cut its forecast for corn acreage to 95.3 million acres from the agency's March estimate of 97.3 million acres.
"We are bracing for a big crop, until weather or harvest results tell us otherwise," Mr. McCambridge said.
Traders expect the USDA to report the highest rated corn crops improved in the past week when it releases its weekly crop progress report at 4 p.m. EDT Monday.
U.S. soybean futures finished mixed, with July futures settling at a nine-month high on continuation charts amid tight domestic supplies of the oilseed. "There's just not enough supply of soybeans around in the face of strong demand to encourage selling in spot soybean futures," said Mr. Zuzolo.
"New crop" futures such as the November contract that represents crops to be harvested in autumn are lower, pressured by improved crop conditions for newly planted crops in the U.S. Farm Belt.
CBOT soybeans for July delivery finished up six cents, or 0.4%, at $15.70 1/2. The November soybean contract settled down 8 3/4 cents, or 0.7%, at $12.43 1/4.
U.S. wheat futures settled mixed Monday, with most contracts declining on seasonal harvest pressure and weakness from corn futures. Wheat and corn futures typically trade in tandem, as both are used for animal feed.
July wheat futures ended down 2 3/4 cents, or 0.4%, at $6.45 3/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade. Kansas City Board of Trade July wheat was unchanged at $6.76 3/4 a bushel. MGEX July wheat finished down 6 1/2 cents, or 0.8%, at $7.78 1/2 a bushel.
--Owen Fletcher contributed to this article.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 01, 2013 15:15 ET (19:15 GMT)
DJ U.S. Corn Futures Slump; July Tumbles on Falling Cash Prices->copyright
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