Corn Steady as Harvest Delay Weighed Against Dry Outlook

Corn and soybeans dropped, paring weekly gains, on speculation that drier, warmer weather will aid the harvests of bumper crops in the U.S., the world’s biggest grower. Wheat also declined.

Midwest conditions the next 14 days will firm soils for heavy farm machinery, hastening field work after parts of the region got double the normal amount of rain the past two weeks, World Weather Inc. said in a report today. As of Oct. 12, 24 percent of the corn crop was gathered, down from a five-year average of 43 percent, U.S. data show. The soybean harvest was 40 percent complete, behind the average pace of 53 percent.

“Almost every Midwest farmer will be back in the field this weekend and that means more supplies coming to market,” Jim Gerlach, the president of A/C Trading Co. in Fowler, Indiana, said in a telephone interview.

Corn futures for December delivery fell 1.2 percent to close at $3.48 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The grain climbed 4.2 percent this week, the biggest such gain since March 7.

Futures have dropped 18 percent since Dec. 31, as U.S. farmers are forecast to collect a record 14.475 billion bushels this year.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 1.5 percent to $9.5175 a bushel. The oilseed, down 26 percent this year, gained 3.2 percent this week, the most since May.

Output will rise 17 percent an all-time high of 3.927 billion bushels, the USDA forecast Oct. 10.

Planting and early crop development will increase in South America, with rain in Brazil and dry weather in Argentina, the second- and third-largest producers, according to Overland Park, Kansas-based World Weather.

“After the recent rally, prices may just move sideways the next several months until we know more about the size of the South American crops,” Gerlach said.

Wheat futures for December delivery slipped 0.2 percent to $5.16 a bushel after touching $5.2225, the highest for a most-active contract since Sept. 10. The grain rose 3.5 percent this week.

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