CHICAGO • Corn futures dropped below $4 a bushel for the first time in four years on bets that rain will boost yields for crops in the U.S., the world’s biggest grower. Soybeans extended the longest slump since 2009.
Forecasts for cooler and wet weather in the Corn Belt over the next week will favor plants, Bethesda, Md.-based Commodity Weather Group said Tuesday. The showers and mild temperatures are improving the outlook for U.S. production, already forecast by the government to reach a record for a second straight season.
A bumper U.S. crop will help global stockpiles before the 2015 Northern Hemisphere harvest rise to the highest since 2000, a Bloomberg News survey showed. Soybean inventories will probably jump to a record, according to the average analyst estimate. Bigger crops are helping to keep a lid on world food inflation, with the United Nations reporting a third monthly drop in prices in June.
“We’ll pollinate two-thirds of the corn crop over the next couple of weeks, and the weather looks nearly ideal,” Arlan Suderman, a senior market analyst at Peoria, Illinois-based Water Street Solutions, said in a telephone interview. “It’s hard to argue the bears are wrong.”
On the Chicago Board of Trade, corn futures for December delivery fell 1.2 percent to $3.9925 at 9:55 a.m., after touching $3 instant payday loan.9875, the lowest since July 2010. The grain entered a bear market last week.
Global reserves may rise to 184.47 million metric tons, the Bloomberg News survey of 15 analysts showed. That would top the USDA’s June forecast for 182.65 million. The agency will update its outlook for world crops on July 11.
As of July 6, about 75 percent of the U.S. crop was in good or excellent condition, according to the USDA. About 15 percent of corn was pollinating as of July 6, compared with 5 percent the previous week.
An index of 55 food items fell 1.8 percent to 206 from 209.8 in May, the UN’s Food & Agriculture Organization said July 3. World prices were 2.8 percent lower than a year earlier.
Soybean futures for November delivery dropped 0.6 percent to $11.095 a bushel on the CBOT. Prices headed for a eighth straight day of losses, the longest streak since February 2009.
The USDA may raise its forecast for domestic production to 3.789 billion bushels, from 3.635 billion estimated last month, according to Bloomberg’s survey. The corn harvest may be 13.931 billion bushels, similar to last month’s estimate.