Corn Falls as U.S. Planting Climbs, Boosting Supply

Corn fell for the second time this week as planting advanced in the U.S., the world’s largest grower, boosting production prospects before a government report that may show rising domestic and world supplies.

About 71 percent of the crop in the U.S. had been planted by May 6, up from 32 percent a year earlier, the most recent Department of Agriculture data show. Above-average temperatures allowed crop development to accelerate, the USDA said in a weekly bulletin yesterday. The U.S. may harvest a record 14.395 billion bushels of corn, according to a Bloomberg News survey before the USDA releases its production estimates tomorrow.

“The weather has been benign across the Midwest,” Victor Thianpiriya, an analyst at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., said by phone from Melbourne today, referring to the absence of weather-related events that may harm the harvest in the largest U.S. growing region. “There’s been no support from weather for corn prices.”

Corn for July delivery fell 0.4 percent to $6.205 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade as of 10:48 a.m. London time. The most-active contract is down 4 percent this year on prospects for increasing production.

World inventories will probably rise to 138.29 million metric tons before the 2013 Northern Hemisphere harvests, from an estimated 122 million tons a year earlier, as the crop in the U.S. expands, according to the Bloomberg News survey.

Soybeans for July delivery lost 0.7 percent to $14.2875 a bushel. The most-active contract has dropped 5.5 percent since May 2, when prices reached the highest level since July 2008 as drought hurt crops in Argentina and Brazil. U.S. farmers may plant 3.214 million acres in soybeans, 5.2 percent more than a year earlier, according to the Bloomberg survey.

“The negative news from South America should be priced in by now, giving way to expectations that the high price level will provoke a positive supply reaction,” Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG, said today in a report.

Wheat for July delivery fell 0.4 percent to $6.125 a bushel. In Paris, November-delivery milling wheat slid 0.3 percent to 197.50 euros ($256.24) a ton.

(Corrects to billion from million in second paragraph of story first published yesterday.)
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