April 22, 2020


US corn slumps to 10-1/2-year low



In more than 10 years, US corn prices lingered near their lowest as a drop in US crude futures was predicted to slash demand for the grain-based ethanol.


Edging up on Tuesday, the most-active corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 0.5% at US$3.15-3/4 a bushel, as of 0111 GMT, having closed 0.8% firmer in the previous session when prices hit a Sept 2009 low of US$3.13-1/2 a bushel.


The most active wheat futures rose 0.8% to US$5.51-1/2 a bushel, having closed 2.6% higher on Monday when prices touched an April 13 high of US$5.62 a bushel.


The most active soybean futures were down 0.1% at US$8.35-1/4 a bushel, near the session low of US$8.32-3/4 a bushel—the lowest since March 19. Soybeans closed 0.7% lower in the previous session.


Demand for ethanol has also suffered as US stay-at-home orders have kept cars off the roads.


The governors of five US states have asked the Trump administration for a nationwide waiver exempting the oil-refining industry from the nation's biofuel laws to help it survive a demand meltdown.


The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said US farmers were able to plant 7% of their intended corn acres, as of Sunday, matching the average of analyst estimates in a Reuters poll.


The USDA rated 57% of the winter wheat crop in "good to excellent" condition, a drop from 62% the previous week. Analysts surveyed by Reuters on average had expected a smaller decline of one percentage point, while their estimates had ranged from 59% to 64% "good to excellent".


For spring wheat, the USDA said the crop was 7% planted, lagging the five-year average of 18%, and behind the average of analyst expectations at 11%.


Russia's deputy agriculture minister Oksana Lut said on Friday the country will suspend exports until July 1 once its second-quarter export quota is exhausted, which is expected to happen in mid-May.