Corn Falls as Prices Near 30-Month High May Deter Buyers; Soybeans Decline

Corn fell in Chicago on concern that prices near the highest level in 30 months may deter buyers. Soybeans also declined.

March-delivery corn slid 0.5 percent to $6.51 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade at 12:55 p.m. Paris time. The contract is up 0.3 percent this week. Soybeans for March delivery dropped 0.5 percent to $14.065 a bushel, headed for a weekly retreat of 1.1 percent.

World corn supplies will fall 14 percent this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said last week. The grain jumped 52 percent last year as a drought trimmed production in Argentina and China became a net importer. Prices reached $6.6625 a bushel, the highest level since July 2008, on Jan. 19.

“Prices have gone up too much,” Eric Bailon, president of Paritas Trading Corp., which imports grain into the Philippines, said by phone from Manila. “All the bad news about supply has already been factored in the price.”

Feed-grade wheat prices have become attractive compared to corn after rain reduced the quality of Australia’s wheat crop, meaning more of the grain may be used for animal fodder at the expense of corn, the International Grains Council said yesterday.

Argentina’s corn harvest may drop faster than estimated as drought cuts yields and rains forecast in the Pampas over the next week won’t be enough to aid crop development, the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange said. Grain and soybean deliveries to the nation’s largest ports fell 87 percent yesterday from a year earlier, the Rosario Cereals Exchange said.

Wheat Crop

The country’s harvest may be 19.5 million metric tons this season, the Buenos Aires exchange said yesterday, lowering its previous estimate from 20.4 million tons on Jan. 6. Last year’s harvest was about 22.5 million tons.

World wheat production will reach 647 million tons in 2010- 2011, 3 million tons more than the previous estimate, the council said. Planting for the 2011-2012 harvest may rise about 3 percent, and production is forecast to rise to 670 million tons based on average yields, it said.

Wheat for March delivery slipped 0.1 percent to $8.025 a bushel, bringing the first weekly gain this year to 3.8 percent. Milling wheat for March delivery traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris slipped 0.2 percent to 258.25 euros ($349.05) a ton.

To contact the reporter on this story: Luzi Ann Javier in Singapore at ljavier@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net.

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