GRAINS-Corn, soy tumble on accelerating harvest of big US crops
(Updates U.S. market activity to close, adds harvest progress) By Michael Hirtzer CHICAGO, Oct 28 (Reuters) - U.S. corn and soybeans tumbled 2 percent on Monday, their largest losses in a month, after dry conditions over the weekend allowed farmers to catch up on harvesting big U.S. crops. Wheat eased for a third straight session at the Chicago Board of Trade, pressured by declines in corn and showers in the U.S. Plains that improved soil moisture for wheat planting. Corn futures fell to a three-year low, while soybeans eased to their lowest point in about two weeks. "We're under harvest pressure as much as anything," said Don Roose, analyst at U.S. Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa. "We're going to switch from the soybean harvest to focus on the corn harvest." The U.S. Agriculture Department said in a report after the close of trading that the corn harvest was 62 percent complete and the soy harvest 77 percent done. Each harvest was within the range of analyst expectations and near the five-year average pace. Farmers hit the fields hard over the weekend, harvesting crops amid forecasts for widespread rains this week that will delay activity. The government will release its supply and demand forecast for November next week. USDA's October report was scrapped due to the partial shutdown of the U.S. government, the first such cancellation in 147 years. Anecdotal yield results have been largely better than expected and USDA could lift estimates for the crops in next week's report. The corn crop already is estimated to be the record large, and the soy crop the fourth largest in history. "We're looking ahead to the November crop report," said Brian Basting, commodity research analyst at Advance Trading. "Most people are looking for significant increases in both corn and soybean yields." Corn and soybean futures each posted their largest daily declines since Sept. 30, when the last major USDA report was released. CBOT corn for December delivery settled 9-1/4 cents, or 2.1 percent, lower at $4.30-3/4 per bushel. Prices earlier fell to $4.30-1/4, the lowest level since September 2010. CBOT November soybeans were 28-3/4 cents lower at $12.71-1/4 as of 12:47 p.m. CDT (1747 GMT). Analysts said they have seen evidence that lower prices have boosted demand, which they called an encouraging sign. USDA on Monday said 83.6 million bushels of U.S. soybeans were inspected for export in the latest reporting week, nearly double the low end of analyst estimates. Corn export inspections totalled 26.5 million bushels, slightly below expectations. "The (soybean) export inspection was just a stellar number," Basting said. "We're seeing really good demand." U.S. ethanol makers have strong profit margins and last week the government pegged the U.S. ethanol grind as the largest since June 2012. WHEAT ON WORST STREAK SINCE JULY CBOT December wheat was down 9-3/4 cents at $6.81, capping the worst three-day stretch since July. USDA said 86 percent of the winter wheat crop was planted, 1 percentage point below last year's pace but a point above the five-year average pace. "Planting across the Northern Hemisphere is looking a bit better than it was 10 days ago, so there's not so much weather premium into the new crop, and for the old crop we've still got plenty of wheat around," said James Dunsterville, head analyst at Geneva-based AgriNews. "Futures coming off may be a little bit of profit-taking because the winter planting is a little bit better, there's rain in Argentina. The Russians and Ukrainians have caught up a bit with their winter wheat sowing." Prices at 3:46 p.m. CDT (2045 GMT) LAST NET PCT YTD CHG CHG CHG CBOT corn 430.75 -9.25 -2.1% -38.3% CBOT soy 1271.25 -28.75 -2.2% -10.4% CBOT meal 414.70 -8.80 -2.1% -1.4% CBOT soyoil 40.36 -0.37 -0.9% -17.9% CBOT wheat 681.00 -9.75 -1.4% -12.5% CBOT rice 1536.00 -18.00 -1.2% 3.4% EU wheat 202.75 -2.25 -1.1% -19.0% US crude 98.60 0.75 0.8% 7.4% Dow Jones 15,569 -1 0.0% 18.8% Gold 1352.80 0.52 0.0% -19.2% Euro/dollar 1.3785 -0.0017 -0.1% 4.5% Dollar Index 79.3360 0.1420 0.2% -0.5% (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer; Editing by Peter Galloway)
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