May 20, 2014

US corn futures fall to 10-week low due to good weather


US corn futures have eased for a fourth consecutive session on May 19 as they reached their lowest level since March 2013.

Periods of warm, dry weather this month are expected to accelerate planting across the Midwest following weeks of rain delays and unseasonable cold.

Chicago wheat futures fell for the ninth consecutive session and hit a one-month low due to better crop weather in the US Plains, sluggish export demand and easing tensions in major grain exporter, Ukraine.

Soybeans firmed on concerns of tight US supplies ahead of the autumn harvest.

"The weather is keeping corn on the defensive. We have a pretty good patch of weather coming (this week) and that should allow farmers to make good planting progress, particularly in Minnesota and the Dakotas," said Sterling Smith, an analyst with Citigroup.

The USDA's weekly crop progress report this week is expected to show that the corn crop was 74% planted as of May 18, according to a Reuters poll of analysts.

Chicago Board of Trade July corn fell 5-3/4 cents, or 1.2%, to US$4.77-3/4 per bushel, the lowest since March 11. The contract hovered just above key support levels at the 100- and 200-day moving averages of US$4.76-1/4 and US$4.73.

The wheat market was pressured by forecasts for rains in key US growing regions and fading concerns about the impact of the Ukraine crisis on the grains market, with importers continuing to buy wheat from Ukraine despite the country's political turmoil.

Managed funds had built up a rare net long position in CBOT wheat in recent weeks due to concerns about a Black Sea trade disruption.

CBOT July wheat dropped 6-1/4 cents, or 0.9%, to US$6.68 per bushel. The front-month contract was down for the ninth straight session, the longest stretch of losing sessions since February 1994.

July hard red winter wheat fell 3 cents, or 0.4%, to a one-month low of US$7.64-3/4 per bushel.