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Corn Falls as U.S. May Plant Most Since 1944; Wheat Declines

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Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Corn fell for a second day in Chicago on prospects for farmers in the U.S., the world’s largest grower, to plant the most acres since 1944. Wheat and soybeans also slid as seeding may expand.

U.S. corn sowing will probably increase to 94.329 million acres this year, up 2.6 percent from a year ago, according to a Bloomberg survey. Acreage may swell by 5.2 percent for wheat and 0.4 percent for soybeans, it showed.

“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 for March delivery dropped 0.6 percent to $6.405 a bushel by 2:15 p.m. Paris time on the Chicago Board of Trade. The grain has declined 5.1 percent in the past year.

Corn output in Argentina may be 22.25 million metric tons, smaller than the 26 million tons predicted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture last month, after a drought parched crops, a separate Bloomberg survey showed. The South American nation is the world’s second-largest exporter after the U.S.

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

Wheat Drops

Wheat for March delivery declined 1.1 percent to $6.6125 a bushel. The grain almost erased yesterday’s 1.2 percent advance, which stemmed from speculation that cold weather in France, Germany and Ukraine may damage dormant crops.

Milling wheat for delivery in March traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris slid 1.1 percent to 219.75 euros ($288.24) a ton. The contract jumped 2.3 percent yesterday.

Soybeans for March delivery slipped 0.3 percent to $12.295 a bushel in Chicago. The oilseed climbed for five sessions through yesterday, the longest winning streak since Dec. 27.

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 Argentine harvest, the third-biggest, may be lowered to 48.58 million tons from 50.5 million tons, the survey showed.

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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