US corn prices tumble as estimated plantings reach record levels

30 June 2011 20:50  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US corn futures prices tumbled heavily in trading on Thursday as the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued an estimate of corn-planted acres at 92.3m acres (37.4m hectares), a 5% increase from 2010.

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, July corn fell to $6.16/bushel, down 72 cents/bushel from the prior day's close. The daily 30 cent/bushel trading limit was lifted as July corn is now in delivery.

Analysts had projected corn acreage in a range of 89.5m-91.5m acres, on fears that rain and floods in the midwest trimmed plantings.

The USDA estimate of corn acres is the second highest on record, short of the record 93.3m acres planted in 2007.

"Once again, our nation’s corn farmers are showing their determination and resilience by exceeding expectations despite difficult weather conditions through much of the Corn Belt," said National Corn Growers Association president Bart Schott.

USDA estimated that 84.9m acres of corn will be harvested, up 3.4m acres from 2010.

Soybean prices followed corn lower, settling down 28 cents to $13.06/bushel, despite the USDA's estimated soybean acres of 75.2m acres, which are down 2.2m from last year.  

USDA projected that 74.2m acres of soybeans will be harvested, down 2.4m acres from last year's harvested crop.

USDA's estimates of planted acreage were developed from surveys of growers taken in early June, before flooding in the northwestern Corn Belt swamped several million acres of farmland in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and elsewhere.

By: Frank Zaworski
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