Corn Futures Fall Most in Two Weeks on China GMO Concerns

Corn futures fell the most in two weeks on speculation that China may reject more U.S. shipments that contain a genetically modified variety. Soybeans and wheat prices dropped.

China rejected 180,000 metric tons of insect-resistant corn from the U.S. because the variety was still undergoing a safety review. Soybean futures in Chicago posted the biggest drop in almost a month on concern that the Asian nation, the top oilseed and grain consumer, will shift to South American supplies.

“There is growing concern about Chinese demand slowing,” Tom Leffler, the owner of Leffler Commodities LLC in Augusta, Kansas, said in a telephone interview. “The GMO issue in corn may lead to more shipments canceled or diverted to other Asian buyers, and eventually China will cancel its U.S. soybean purchases to get cheaper supplies from Brazil.”

Corn futures for March delivery fell 1.1 percent to close at $4.3425 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since Nov. 26. The price has plunged 38 percent this year as U.S. farmers increase production to a record.

Soybean futures for January delivery dropped 1.5 percent to $13.2375 a bushel, the biggest decline since Nov. 15.

The U.S. has sold 38.7 million tons since the marketing year that started Sept. 1, or 96 percent of the total forecast for the entire season’s exports, USDA data show. About 19.7 million tons are waiting to be shipped, including 10.8 million tons set China, according to agency figures.

Brazil is the top exporter, followed by the U.S.

Wheat futures for March delivery fell 1.1 percent to $6.3375 a bushel. Earlier, the price touched $6.3025, the lowest since June 18, 2012. This year, the grain has dropped 19 percent. The USDA forecast that world production will rise to a record.

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