November 8th, 2013

Corn futures fell, extending a slump to a 38-month low, on speculation that the government will forecast a bigger crop than estimated two months ago in the U.S., the world’s top leading producer. Soybeans gained.

The 2013 corn harvest may climb to a record 14.029 billion bushels, up 1.3 percent from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s prediction in September and 30 percent more than 2012, a Bloomberg survey showed. The agency will update its forecasts at noon in Washington. Through yesterday, corn plunged 40 percent this year as crops recovered from drought last year.

“Corn prices will likely continue their gradual drift lower,” Chris Gadd, an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd. in London, said in a report. “We expect the USDA to increase corn and soybean yields, raising corn production to record levels.”

Corn futures for December delivery fell 0.5 percent to $4.1825 a bushel at 10:14 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price touched $4.18, the lowest since Aug. 25, 2010. The grain headed for the eighth straight decline, the longest slump in 18 weeks.

Soybean futures for January delivery rose 0.4 percent to $12.71 a bushel. The price headed for a weekly gain on increased export demand from the U.S., the second-biggest shipper.

Exporters sold 1.018 million metric tons in the week ended Oct. 31, up more than fivefold from a year earlier, USDA data showed yesterday. The U.S. crop may be 3.215 billion bushels, 2.1 percent more than estimated in September, a Bloomberg survey showed. Brazil is the top shipper.

“Demand for soybeans remains very good and may offset at least some of the increase in production,” Tim Emslie, the research manager at CHS Hedging Inc. in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, said in a telephone interview. “The theme is that demand is matching increased production.”

Today’s USDA report will be the first since the government opened following a 16-day partial shutdown in October that halted agency data.

Wheat futures for December delivery fell 0.2 percent to $6.5175 a bushel.

- Jeff Wilson in Chicago and Whitney McFerron in London at Bloomberg.