Corn Declines as U.S. Farmers May Plant Most Acres Since 1944

Corn dropped for a second day as a survey showed that farmers in the U.S., the world’s largest grower, will plant the most acres since 1944, offsetting crop losses from a drought in South America.

Corn for March delivery fell as much as 0.7 percent to $6.40 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. It traded at $6.4275 at 3:43 p.m. in Singapore.

Farmers in the U.S., also the largest shipper, will probably increase planting to 94.329 million acres (38.2 million hectares) this year, up 2.6 percent from a year ago, according to a Bloomberg survey.

“The market expects U.S. corn plantings to increase substantially,” Michael Pitts, commodity sales director at National Australia Bank Ltd., said in Sydney today. “We’ll see a production increase in the new crop. That has a certain offsetting benefit to losses” in South America, he said.

Corn output in Argentina, the world’s second-largest shipper, will probably reach 22.25 million metric tons, smaller than the 26 million tons predicted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture last month, after a drought caused by the La Nina phenomenon parched crops, a separate Bloomberg survey showed.

In Brazil, the fourth-biggest exporter, production will probably be 59.61 million tons, compared with USDA’s forecast of 61 million tons, according to the survey. The agency is set to release its latest global supply outlook on Feb. 9 in Washington.

Soybeans Drop

Soybeans declined for the first time in six days, snapping the longest winning streak since Dec. 27, as analysts expected acreage in the U.S., the largest grower and exporter, to rise 0.4 percent to 75.309 million acres, the fifth-most ever.

The March-delivery contract dropped 0.2 percent to $12.30 a bushel, erasing an earlier gain of 0.5 percent.

The USDA may lower its output forecast for Brazil, the second-largest producer after the U.S., to 71.76 million tons from a January estimate of 74 million tons, according to the average estimate of 22 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. The harvest in Argentina, the third-largest, may be lowered to 48.58 million tons from 50.5 million tons, the survey shows.

Wheat for March delivery declined 0.2 percent to $6.67 a bushel, after advancing 1.2 percent yesterday on speculation that cold weather in France, Germany and Ukraine will damage dormant crops.

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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