Corn futures fell to a three-week low on speculation that rain will help boost yields in Iowa and Illinois, the largest U.S. growers. Wheat posted the longest slump in nine weeks, while soybeans gained.
Precipitation may fall in the “heart of the Corn Belt” from Nebraska through Illinois in the next five days, QT Weather said in a report. As much as 2 inches (5.1 centimeters) of rain fell in the past 24 hours in parts of Nebraska and Iowa, the Chicago-based company said. Corn has tumbled 34 percent this year on speculation that the crop will be the biggest ever in the U.S., the world’s top producer.
“The overnight weather models showed more rain in the Midwest,” Arlan Suderman, a senior market analyst at Peoria, Illinois-based Water Street Solutions, said in a telephone interview. “That pulled the rug out from under the markets, and we’ve been trading lower since.”
Corn futures for December delivery dropped 1.8 percent to settle at $4.61 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price touched $4.57, the lowest for a most-active contract since Aug. 15.
Wheat futures for December delivery fell 0.9 percent to $6.4025 a bushel. The price declined for the seventh straight session, the longest since July 1. This year, the grain has slumped 18 percent.
Soybean futures for November delivery rose 1.1 percent to $13.675 a bushel.
As of Sept. 1, U.S. crop conditions deteriorated for the third straight week after hot, dry weather threatened yields in the Midwest, Department of Agriculture data showed.
Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, hay and wheat, government data show.