Corn, soybean prices fall despite demand

Pro Farmer crop tour finds impressive yields

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Soybean futures slid for a third consecutive session on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Thursday, diving 2 percent to their lowest since mid-August, as a widely watched crop tour reported bumper prospects across the U.S. Midwest.

Corn lost ground for a fourth session in a row and wheat was flat, amid expectations for huge global grain supplies.

The annual four-day Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour observed on Thursday soybean crop prospects in southern Minnesota that were above average, and in line with last year.

Late on Wednesday, the tour reported above-average soybean pod counts in Illinois and the western portion of Iowa.

“I think the beans have a long way to go on the downside,” said Bill Biedermann, manager of Allendale Inc.’s Crystal Lake, Ill., brokerage branch. “You’ve got fundamentals, technicals and bigger picture stuff all saying that unless something crazy happens, (lower) is the path of least resistance.”

Soybeans are trading at a price about three times greater than corn, higher than the traditional ratio that is a key pricing benchmark, Biedermann said. Domestic and export demand for soybeans may fall short of U.S. Department of Agriculture projections, and yields look to be growing, he added.

The CBOT most-active soybean contract lost 23-1/2 cents or 2.3 percent at $9.81-3/4 by 10:59 a.m. after falling in earlier trade to its lowest price since Aug. 15.

“Soybean prices had been pushed higher because of Chinese demand for U.S. shipments, but the supply picture is very favorable,” said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank.

Corn dropped 2 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $3.34-1/4 per bushel, while wheat was flat at $4.26-1/4.

The Pro Farmer crop tour on Wednesday projected Illinois’ corn yield potential sharply higher than last year but below the USDA’s record-large forecast. Corn yields in western Iowa looked bigger than last year and the average yield.

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