U.S. grains: Soybeans, corn tumble to four-year lows on record harvests

(Lisa Guenther photo)

Chicago | Reuters –– U.S. corn and soy futures fell to four-year lows on Monday, pressured by favourable weather for record harvests in the U.S. and a rising dollar that made the supplies less competitive in global markets.

Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures also fell to a four-year low, but trimmed losses to end narrowly higher following a report that the key buying agency for top global importer Egypt purchased U.S. supplies for the first time since March.

“Losses are being posted across the board today as we see fund liquidation in every pit,” said analyst Karl Setzer of MaxYield Cooperative in Iowa. “This is especially the case in soybeans, where funds are heavy sellers.”

CBOT November soybeans settled 18-3/4 cents, or two per cent, lower at $9.38-1/4 per bushel, finishing just above the session of $9.34-1/4 — the lowest level for a spot contract since June 2010 (all figures US$). Corn for December delivery ended 1-1/4 cent lower at $3.30-1/4 after earlier reaching a contract and four-year low of $3.26-3/4.

Only light showers were forecast this week in the U.S. Midwest crop belt, which should allow farmers to make rapid progress in the corn and soy harvest, the Commodity Weather Group said in a note to clients.

In a report after the close of trading, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said corn was seven per cent harvested and soybeans three per cent harvested, with harvest of each crop on par with last year, but slightly below the five-year average.

The government earlier this month increased production estimates for each crop from its previous record-large predictions.

“You have very high soybean production in 2014-15 coming out of the United States and Brazil, which means we are looking at much lower prices,” said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank.

The bumper harvests were expected to replenish thin supplies in the U.S. countryside as well as satisfy export demand.

There was some support for the wheat market from Egypt’s buying U.S. wheat after taking mainly Black Sea or European cargoes this year. Egypt’s state grain buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities, said it had bought 55,000 tonnes of U.S. soft red winter wheat in a tender for shipment Oct. 21-31.

Most-active CBOT December wheat was up 2-1/4 cents at $4.76-3/4 after earlier hitting a contract low of $4.69-1/2.

— Michael Hirtzer reports on ag commodity markets for Reuters from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris.

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