Corn Drops to 11-Week Low Before USDA Report; Wheat Falls
(Businessweek) – Corn extended a slide to an 11-week low before a U.S. government report today that may show larger domestic stockpiles. Wheat fell.
U.S. corn inventories on Sept. 1 probably totaled 1.145 billion bushels, up 1.6 percent from a year earlier, as farmers harvested crops earlier this year because of dry weather, according to a Bloomberg survey. The Department of Agriculture will release supply estimates at 8:30 a.m. in Washington. The worst U.S. drought in half a century sent corn to a record $8.49 a bushel last month, encouraging speculators to boost bullish long positions to a 16-month high, government data show.
“People have been hesitant to extend long positions or get back into the market ahead of the stocks report,” Erin FitzPatrick, an analyst at Rabobank International, said by phone from London. “This report is probably going to set the tone for the following few weeks.”
Corn for December delivery fell 1.2 percent to $7.0775 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade by 12:11 p.m. London time, and earlier touched $7.05, the lowest price for a most active contract since July 12. The price was set for a monthly decline of 12 percent, the biggest drop since May, and a third-quarter drop of 12 percent.
Hedge funds have cut bullish bets in corn futures and options by 21 percent since a high in the week ended Aug. 21, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. U.S. export sales tumbled to 368 metric tons in the week ended Sept. 20, compared with 69,578 tons a week earlier, the USDA said yesterday.
Soybeans for November delivery fell 0.2 percent to $15.68 a bushel, after rising as much as 0.9 percent. The oilseed, which reached a record $17.89 on Sept. 4, headed toward an 11 percent decline this month.
Wheat for December declined 0.5 percent to $8.5125 a bushel in Chicago, heading for a 4.3 percent monthly drop. In Paris, November-delivery milling wheat fell 0.6 percent to 256.50 euros ($331.45) a ton on NYSE Liffe.
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