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U.S. corn hits 6-month low ahead of USDA planting progress report

Published 05/04/2015, 06:09 AM
U.S. corn falls to 6-month low on rapid planting progress

Investing.com - U.S. corn futures declined for the third consecutive session on Monday, amid indications of rapid planting progress in the U.S. Midwest last week.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, US corn for July delivery hit an intraday low of $3.6060 a bushel, a level not seen since November 5, before trading at $3.6138 during U.S. morning hours, down 1.23 cents, or 0.34%.

On Friday, corn slumped 3.2 cents, or 0.89%, to close at $3.6300. The July corn contract lost 5.76 cents, or 0.41%, last week, the second straight weekly decline, as forecasts for drier weather across the Midwest was expected to further aid planting of the crop.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, approximately 19% of the corn crop was planted as of April 26, up from just 9% in the preceding week and above the 17% planted during the same week a year earlier.

Later in the day, the USDA will release updated crop progress numbers for the week ended May 3.

Meanwhile, US wheat for July delivery shed 4.12 cents, or 0.87%, to trade at $4.6988 a bushel. Futures slumped to a contract-low of $4.6400 on April 28.

The July wheat contract dropped 14.5 cents, or 2.57%, last week, the fourth consecutive weekly loss, as dry weather conditions in key U.S. wheat-growing states was expected to benefit crop conditions.

The USDA said that 55% of the spring wheat crop was planted as of April 26, up from 36% a week earlier. Only 17% of the crop was planted in the same week a year earlier, while the five-year average for this time of year is 29%.

The agency also said that the U.S. winter wheat crop was rated 42% good to excellent as of last week. Approximately 33% of the crop was in good to excellent condition in the same week a year earlier.

Elsewhere on the Chicago Board of Trade, US soybeans for July delivery increased 4.78 cents, or 0.5%, to trade at $9.6938 a bushel. Prices touched $9.6120 on Friday, the weakest level since April 16, before ending at $9.6460, down 11.2 cents, or 1.15%.

The July soybean contract shed 2.87 cents, or 0.45%, last week, the first weekly decline in three weeks as optimism over the outlook for supplies in South America weighed.

Brazil and Argentina are major soybean exporters and compete with the U.S. for business on the global market. Large South American crop prospects could weigh on demand for U.S. supplies.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, government figures show. Wheat was fourth, behind hay.

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