Corn drops after USDA raises crop outlook as soybeans fluctuate

Corn (CBOT:CZ13) fell for a second day after the U.S. Department of Agriculture raised its outlook for the domestic harvest. Soybeans swung between gains and losses.

U.S. farmers will collect 13.843 billion bushels of corn in 2013, the most ever and up from the 13.763 billion estimated last month, the USDA said yesterday. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg before the report expected a cut. Domestic output will rise 28% from the drought-reduced harvest last year, USDA data show, helping send global inventories to a 12-year high. The U.S. corn harvest is usually from September to November.

“The report was seen as being bearish the corn market in general,” Joe Vaclavik, the president of Standard Grain Inc. in Chicago, said in an e-mailed report. “The increase in projected corn yield tells us that the USDA may be open to raising the production number again in future reports.”

Corn for December delivery (CBOT:CZ13) fell 0.4% to $4.645 a bushel by 7:48 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, extending yesterday’s 1.3% decline and on pace for a second weekly drop. Trading volume was 55% below the 100-day average for that time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Areas of the Midwest, including top growers Iowa and Illinois, received as little as 5% of the normal amount of rain in the past 30 days, National Weather Service data show. About 9% of corn crops in the main U.S. growing areas had reached maturity as of Sept. 8, according to the USDA. Corn is usually harvested before soybeans in the U.S.

Soybeans for delivery in November (CBOT:SX13) rose 0.1% to $13.9775 a bushel, after touching $14, the highest since Sept. 3. Prices declined as much as 0.7% in earlier trade. The oilseed climbed 2.8% yesterday, the biggest gain since Aug. 26, and is set for a sixth weekly increase.

Soybean Outlook

The USDA cut its outlook for the U.S. soybean harvest yesterday for the second time in as many months, with production pegged at 3.149 billion bushels, 3.3% less than forecast in August.

Soybean development was delayed by wet, cool weather earlier this year, leaving yields vulnerable to heat and dry weather in August, a time when plants are developing pods and maturing before the harvest, USDA data show. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised its outlook for prices for three and six months.

Wheat for December delivery fell 0.6% to $6.49 a bushel. In Paris, milling wheat for November delivery was unchanged at 186.75 euros ($248.02) a ton on NYSE Liffe. The USDA raised its estimate for global production to 708.89 million tons from an August forecast of 705.38 million tons on improved outlook for crops in Europe and Canada.

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