Crop Prices Trade Near Four-Year Lows on Output Prospects

Corn fell to a four-year low on bets that a government report today will show that U.S. farmers are set to harvest the biggest crop on record, boosting global inventories. Soybeans headed for the longest slide in 41 years.

U.S. production may total 13.93 billion bushels of corn and 3.79 billion bushels of soybeans, the most ever, according to a Bloomberg News survey. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will update its outlook at noon in Washington. Most crops are in good or excellent condition after ample rain, USDA data show. Cool weather in the Midwest will prevent heat stress on plants through next week, according to MDA Weather Services.

“We are drifting lower because the crops look marvelous and the forecasts are great for producing a big crop,” Sterling Smith, a futures specialist at Citi Futures in Chicago, said in a telephone interview today. “There is little fuel for buying interest in either corn or soybeans from a supply standpoint.”

Corn futures for December delivery declined 0.8 percent to $3.8975 a bushel at 10:07 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching $3.875, the lowest since July 28, 2010.

Soybean futures for November delivery declined 0.4 percent to $10.885 a bushel, after earlier touching $10.855, the lowest since October 2010. Prices headed for a 10th straight loss, the longest streak since July 1973.

Global inventories of corn may rise to 184.47 million metric tons by the end of the 2014-15 season, the most since 2000, the Bloomberg survey showed. Soybean reserves may reach 84.69 million tons, the highest ever.

Citigroup Inc. said soybeans may drop to $10.50 in the fourth quarter, while corn was seen at $3.70 a bushel, according to a report e-mailed yesterday.

Wheat for September delivery dropped 1.3 percent to $5.415 a bushel, after touching $5.375, the lowest since July 2010.

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