Corn, Soybeans Drop More Than 2% on Ample Global Supplies

Corn futures dropped the most in three months and soybeans had the biggest decline in six weeks on the outlook for ample global supplies. Wheat fell.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture raised its outlook for world corn inventories before the 2014 Northern Hemisphere harvests by 0.7 percent to 158.47 million metric tons, topping analyst estimates. While the USDA cut its outlook for domestic soybean reserves to 145 million bushels, the amount still topped forecasts. Global inventories were forecast to climb 22 percent from a year earlier.

“The USDA did not cut the U.S. soybeans stockpiles as much as the bulls were hoping,” Dale Durchholz, a senior market analyst for AgriVisor LLC in Bloomington, Illinois, said in a telephone interview. Global inventories signal “supplies will be more abundant as South American harvesting ramps up this month,” he said.

Corn futures for May delivery fell 2.2 percent to close at $4.7825 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since Nov. 18. On March 7, the grain reached $5.025, the highest since Aug. 27.

Futures have climbed 13 percent this year on signs of rising demand for U.S. exports, wet weather in South America that may hurt harvests and concern that deliveries from Ukraine, the world’s third-biggest shipper, will be disrupted amid political unrest.

World production was forecast at 967.5 million metric tons, up 0.1 percent from last month’s estimate and 12 percent more than a year earlier, the USDA said today.

Soybean futures for May delivery fell 2.7 percent to $14.1875 a bushel, the biggest decline since Jan. 21. The price has climbed 9.8 percent this year.

On the Dalian Commodity Exchange in China, the world’s top consumer, soybeans dropped to a seven-month low as demand ebbed for livestock feed made from the oilseed, Durchholz said.

Wheat futures for May delivery dropped 2 percent to $6.4075 a bushel in Chicago. The price has gained 5.9 percent this year.