Prices of grain and soybean futures faltered on Tuesday, pressured by better-than-expected crop conditions and mounting expectations that U.S. farmers will again reap bumper crops this year. Soybean futures led the declines, weighed down by improving U.S. crop conditions and speculation that government forecasters in a key supply-and-demand report next week will boost yield estimates, potentially foreshadowing a massive harvest to come in the fall.
Increasingly, some market participants are calling for a “monster soybean crop,” said Charlie Sernatinger, head of grains trading at ED&F Man Capital Markets, adding that “the weather forecasts are not disagreeing.” Ongoing liquidation of bets on higher prices by investors also added to negative sentiment in the soybean market, analysts said. Soybean futures for delivery in August dropped 10 3/4 cents, or 1.1%, to $9.85 1/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade.
Corn prices slipped to 22-month low
Nearby corn prices slipped to a fresh 22-month low, pressured by largely benign weather and a string of private forecasts projecting large crop yields. INTL FCStone estimated corn yields at 175 bushels per acre compared to the USDA’s latest forecast for 168 bushels. The U.S. corn crop already is projected to be a record this year, and robust crop ratings are supporting the outlook for a massive harvest. Corn conditions held steady last week at 76% good to excellent, the USDA said.
Mr. Sernatinger said growers on Tuesday also sold a small portion of last year’s crop, as “farmers are cleaning bins in front of what looks to be a big harvest.” CBOT September corn fell 1 1/2 cents, or 0.5%, to $3.24 1/4 a bushel, the lowest closing price since October 2014. March-dated contracts ticked higher.
Wheat prices sink to 10-year low
Wheat prices sank to a fresh 10-year low, buffeted by abundant global supplies of the grain and the ongoing U.S. harvest. Growers in the southern Great Plains are nearly finished collecting a large winter wheat crop, while will pile onto huge domestic and world inventories, according to analysts. CBOT September wheat shed 4 3/4 cents, or 1.2%, to $4.01 1/2 a bushel, the lowest closing price since Sept. 2006.