December 31, 2013 / 3:17 AM / 4 years ago

GRAINS-Corn futures hit 2-week low, set for biggest annual slide

(Adds details, quotes)
    * Spot corn futures down 40 percent for the year
    * Wheat set for biggest annual loss in 5-years
    * Soybeans set to record annual losses of over 6 pct

    By Colin Packham
    SYDNEY, Dec 31 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures hit a fresh
two-week low on Tuesday as rains in Argentina eased heat stress
on crops, adding to an already bumper global crop which has
pushed prices down nearly 40 percent during the year, the
biggest annual slide for the grain on record.
    Soybeans edged higher, but were set to post annual losses of
more than 6 percent, while wheat fell back slightly, with yearly
losses topping 20 percent.
    Chicago Board of Trade March corn futures fell 0.18
percent to $4.22-3/4 a bushel by 0233 GMT, having hit a session
low of $4.22-1/4 a bushel, the lowest since Dec. 17. Corn closed
down 0.94 percent on Monday.
    "I think its just weather driven and the weather looks
favourable in South America, hence the weight on corn," said
Simon Clancy, director at IKON Commodities. 
    Corn has come under pressure this week after crop-friendly
rain fell over much of Argentina's corn and soybean growing
region over the weekend and more rain is expected in the
northern two-thirds of the country. 
    Spot corn is down nearly 40 percent for the year, the
biggest annual decline on record for the grain.
    Corn prices fell amid sustained pressure this year on
mammoth U.S. grain production in 2013, bouncing back from a
drought affected crop last season.
    Argentina's Rosario grain exchange said on Monday the
country will harvest 22.0 million tonnes of corn.
 
    March soybeans rose 0.1 percent to $13.09-3/4 a
bushel, having closed down 0.38 percent on Monday when rains
across Argentina weighed on prices.
    Spot soybeans was down 6.3 percent for the year,
having firmed 18.4 percent in 2012.
    Bumper South American bean production has weighed on prices
during the year, analysts said.
    Rosario grain exchange forecast Argentinean soybeans
production at 55.0 million tonnes for the 2013/14 season.
    March wheat fell 0.2 percent to $6.00 a bushel, having
closed down 1.4 percent in the previous session. 
    Spot wheat is down nearly 23 percent, the biggest
annual slide since 2008 as bumper global stocks hit near record
levels.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture earlier this month pegged
2013/14 global wheat supplies at just 9 million tonnes short of
a record high. 
        
  Grains prices at  0233 GMT
  Contract        Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg MA 30   RSI 
  CBOT wheat     600.00    -0.50  -0.08%    -0.99%     638.90   22
  CBOT corn      422.75    -0.75  -0.18%    -0.82%     429.56   38
  CBOT soy      1309.75     1.00  +0.08%    +0.34%    1308.20   52
  CBOT rice      $15.32    $0.02  +0.13%    -0.16%     $15.51   45
  WTI crude      $99.32    $0.03  +0.03%    -1.00%     $96.65   60
  Currencies                                                
  Euro/dlr       $1.380   $0.006  +0.43%    +0.80%
  USD/AUD         0.892    0.006  +0.62%    +0.37%
  Most active contracts
  Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight
  RSI 14, exponential
 
 (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)

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