Soybean and corn futures dropped in Chicago on speculation that dry weather will allow U.S. farmers to expedite harvests that were delayed by late planting. Wheat advanced.
Farmers gathered 63 percent of soybeans and 39 percent of the corn in the main growing areas as of Oct. 20, below the five-year average, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday. About 60 percent of corn was in good or excellent condition, up from 55 percent on Sept. 29, while soybeans improved to 57 percent from 53 percent, the government said.
“Dry weather this week will help farmers finish up soybean harvesting in many areas and lead to more cash sales,” Chad Henderson, the president of Prime Agricultural Consultants Inc. in Brookfield, Wisconsin, said in a telephone interview. “The improvement in crop ratings signals that we will have bigger corn and soybean crops.”
Soybean futures for delivery in January slid 0.2 percent to close at $12.975 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Prices reached $13.0125 yesterday, the highest since Oct. 10. U.S. soybean production may rise 4.4 percent to the highest in three years, the USDA said Sept. 12.
Corn futures for delivery in December slumped 1.3 percent to $4.3825 a bushel in Chicago, the biggest drop since Oct. 8. The USDA predicted output will jump 28 percent to a record this year, rebounding from a drought-damaged harvest in 2012.
The USDA is scheduled to update its U.S. and world supply and demand estimates on Nov. 8 after this month’s report was canceled due to a 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government that started Oct. 1. Weekly crop-progress reports weren’t published in that span.
Late-season rains boosted U.S. crops more than the government said last month, R.J. O’Brien & Associates predicted today. Corn production will rise to 13.91 billion bushels, above the USDA forecast of 13.843 billion estimated Sept. 12, the broker said in an e-mailed report to clients. Soybean output will rise to 3.211 billion, above the government’s forecast of 3.149 billion.
Wheat futures for delivery in December rose 0.1 percent to $7.0075 a bushel on the CBOT. Yesterday, the most-active contract touched $7.1125, the highest since June 21.