Soybeans Reach Lowest Price Since July on U.S. Harvest Progress

Soybeans fell in Chicago to the lowest price since July and corn slipped as harvesting in the U.S. advanced at the fastest pace in at least three decades, helped by warm, dry weather.

About 41 percent of the soybean crop in the U.S., last year’s largest grower, was harvested as of Sept. 30, compared with 15 percent a year earlier, the Department of Agriculture said yesterday. Fifty-four percent of corn was collected, up from 18 percent. The harvest is progressing at the fastest rate since the USDA began collecting data in 1981.

“It’s more the pace of harvesting that’s pushing prices lower, as it eases supply concerns,” Chung Yang Ker, an analyst at Phillip Futures Pte, said from Singapore. “There’s also the anticipation for larger-than-expected yields.”

Soybeans for November delivery fell 1.4 percent to $15.38 a bushel by 7:05 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The oilseed earlier touched $15.355, the lowest for a most-active contract since July 13. Corn for December delivery dropped 0.7 percent to $7.5175 a bushel.

Crops remain in the worst condition since at least 1988, with 33 percent of soybeans and 50 percent of corn rated poor or very poor as of Sept. 30 after drought this year hurt yields, USDA data show. Farmers may collect 10.727 billion bushels of corn, a six-year low, while the soybean harvest at 2.634 billion bushels may be the smallest since 2003, the USDA said Sept. 12. The agency is slated to update crop forecasts Oct. 11.

“As harvest results come in, the market appears to be more comfortable with availability,” Deutsche Bank AG analysts including Christina McGlone-Hahn said in an e-mailed report today. “While sentiment has turned more negative as the quarter comes to a close, we go back to fundamentals. Supply and demand balances are tight, particularly in the soybean complex.”

Wheat for December delivery slid 1.4 percent to $8.72 a bushel, extending yesterday’s 2 percent slump. In Paris, November-delivery milling wheat fell 0.6 percent to 261 euros ($338) a metric ton on NYSE Liffe.

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