GRAINS-Corn, soy tumble on accelerating harvest of big US crops

Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:33am IST

(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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