July 27, 2011


US corn yields seen lower on hot weather



Hot weather in the US corn belt is likely to reduce crop yields to as low as 155 bushels per acre, down from around 158 bushels estimated by the government, according to a grains advisory firm.


Sizzling heat across the US grain belt last week may have hurt yields, especially corn, which is in the critical pollination stage, but cooler weather and scattered showers this week could benefit stressed crops.


After trading closed in Chicago on Monday (Jul 25), the USDA, in a weekly crop progress report, said 62% of the US corn crop was in good to excellent condition as of Sunday, down four percentage points from a week earlier.


US corn firmed on Tuesday, recouping some of the previous day's losses on a fall in the US dollar and as traders assessed the yield impact of the recent US heat wave and subsequent cool down.


"Across the corn belt, we had super high temperatures for 10 days and during that period 50% of corn crop was pollinating," said Mike Krueger, president of US-based grains advisory service The Money Farm.


"Most people agree that there was yield loss even though the weather has cooled. I think we are going to be around 155 and 158 bushels per acre against USDA's around 158 bushels."


On China's corn imports, a key factor which has driven prices this year, Krueger said the country is expected to buy up to four million tonnes of US corn in the year to September 2012.


"I think US will sell between three and four million tonnes. They have probably done two million tonnes of that," Krueger said.


China's corn imports are likely to climb more than two-fold in 2011/12 as a dramatic surge in demand outstrips domestic output, turning the country into a consistent buyer, according to a Reuters poll.

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