Soybeans and corn fell from six-week highs after rain overnight in Argentina eased concern that dry weather was dimming prospects for bigger harvests in South America.
Parts of Argentina received as much as 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) of rain in the past day, and more than half the farms will get additional showers during the next two nights, the Commodity Weather Group LLC said in a report. Rains will move to southern Brazil the next six to 10 days, the forecaster said. Combined soybean output by the two countries will rise 28 percent to a record, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Jan. 11.
“Better-than-expected rains in Argentina and more in the forecast have taken the edge off worries about crop losses,” Brian Grete, the senior market analyst for Professional Farmers of America newsletter in Cedar Falls, Iowa, said in a telephone interview. “Rains will slow any crop deterioration and keep the focus on the potential for record soybean production in South America.”
Soybean futures for March delivery dropped 1.1 percent to $14.6225 a bushel at 10:52 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Prices earlier touched $14.8425, the highest since Dec. 18. Through yesterday, the oilseed was up 4.9 percent in January, heading for the first monthly increase since August.
Corn futures for March delivery slipped 0.3 percent to $7.3775 a bushel in Chicago, after touching $7.445, the highest since Dec. 7. The grain climbed 6 percent in January as of yesterday, on pace for the first advance since July.
Farmers sold more corn yesterday than at any time since the end of the harvest in October and also increased sales of soybeans held in storage, Kent Jessen, the director of merchandising for Heartland Cooperative in West Des Moines, Iowa, said in a telephone interview. Growers may be locking in profits after shrinking U.S. inventories spurred January rallies.
Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $76.5 billion in 2011, followed by soybeans at $35.8 billion, government figures show.
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