12 January 2012 17:29 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US futures prices for corn fell in early trading on Thursday after the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said corn stocks dropped by 4% from a year earlier.
Analysts had expected a larger decrease in corn stocks than what was reported by USDA, hence the drop in corn futures prices.
The USDA quarterly Grain Stocks report said corn stored in all positions on 1 December, 2011 totalled 9.64bn bushels, down 4% from 1 December, 2010. The decrease in corn stocks was attributed to increased exports.
As trading opened at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, March corn futures were down the limit of 40 cents/bushel to $6.11/bushel (€4.83/bushel).
Soybean futures were also trading lower, down about 38 cents/bushel to $11.59/bushel as USDA's report that soybeans stored in all positions were up 4% from a year ago at 2.37m bushels.
The increase in soybean stocks were attributed by USDA to fewer exports and reduced crushing activity compared to a year earlier.
Hard red winter wheat futures were trading 40 cents/bushel lower at $6.61/bushel after USDA said all wheat in storage totalled 1.66bn bushels, down 14% from a year ago.
However, US winter wheat plantings for 2012 harvest were estimated by USDA at 41.9m acres (16.9m hectares); up 3% from the 40.6m acres planted a year ago.
In its world production estimates, USDA lowered South American corn and soybean production. Argentina's corn production was reduced by 3m tonnes and Brazil's soybean production was reduced by 1m tonnes.
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