Corn hits 5-week low on harvest pace

Chicago corn dropped to its lowest in more than five weeks on Tuesday following a government report which showed the U.S. harvest is progressing at an above average pace. Wheat fell for a fifth consecutive session to trade near Monday’s one-month low on forecasts of beneficial rains in parts of U.S. and Russian grain producing regions.

Chicago Board of Trade December corn was down 0.1 percent at $3.72-1/4 a bushel, its lowest since Sept. 11 while December wheat gave up 0.2 percent to trade at $4.85 a bushel. November soybeans gained 0.4 percent to $8.94-1/4 a bushel. Farmers finished harvesting 59 percent of the corn crop as of Oct. 18, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said after the market closed on Monday. This compares with 42 percent of the crop harvested a week ago and is above the five-year average pace of 54 percent.

The U.S. soybean harvest was 77 percent complete, up from 62 percent a week ago and higher than the five-year average of 68 percent, the USDA said in its weekly crop progress report. The market had expected the report to show corn harvest was 59 percent complete and the soybean harvest was 79 percent complete. “Global supplies have been very healthy, the market is well supplied across beans, corn and wheat,” said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist, National Australia Bank.

“There were some worries about wheat in the U.S. and Black Sea region but now we have forecasts of rains. It remains to be seen if those rains will have a material impact on crops.” Showers this week were likely to benefit parched wheat fields in Russia and the southern U.S. Plains, while precipitation next week in northern Brazil should aid recently planted soybeans, the Commodity Weather Group said in a note.

Still, Australia’s 2015/16 wheat crop will be lower than previously expected at around 24 million tonnes, Jammie Penm, chief commodity analyst for the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, said on Monday.

Forecasts for the upcoming wheat crop in Australia, one of the world’s biggest exporters of the cereal, have been falling as dryness linked to an El Nino weather pattern and above-normal temperatures hurt the crop in its crucial phase of development. Soybeans found little support from a separate USDA announcement that said 2.36 million tonnes of the beans were inspected for export last week, above analyst expectations that ranged from 1.2 million to 1.8 million tonnes.

Wheat and corn export inspections were both below analyst estimates. The CME Group Inc plans to raise transaction fees on a host of products starting Jan. 1, 2016, pending regulatory approval, the exchange said on Monday.

[reuters]

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