As U.S. Farmers Boost Acreage, Corn, Soybeans, Wheat Plummet.

Corn plunged by the Chicago Board of Trade’s limit after a government report showed U.S. farmers planted more acreage with the grain than estimated in March. Wheat and soybeans also tumbled on signs of increasing supplies.

Corn futures for December delivery dropped by the maximum of 30 cents, or 7.6 percent, to $3.6725 a bushel at 11:02 a.m. on the CBOT. The price headed for the fourth straight quarterly slide.

The U.S. corn report showed “an awfully big acreage number and suggests inventories will be more comfortable,” said Tim Emslie, a research manager at Country Hedging Inc. in Inner Grove Heights, Minnesota.

The U.S. is the world’s largest exporter of corn, soybeans and wheat. Corn is the nation’s biggest crop, valued at $47.4 billion in 2008, followed by soybeans, hay and wheat, government figures show.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 22 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $9.615 a bushel. Earlier, the price touched $9.435, the lowest since April 1.

U.S. farmers will sow a record 77.483 million acres with the oilseed, up 2.3 percent from 75.718 million last year, the USDA said. In March, the agency said farmers intended to plant 76.024 million acres.

Wheat futures for July delivery tumbled 18.25 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $5.0975 a bushel. The price earlier touched $4.9575, the lowest since Dec. 12.

About 13.77 million acres were seeded with spring wheat, the USDA said. That topped the 13 million projected by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News last week. Total inventories on June 1 were 667 million bushels, doubling from a year earlier.

Cattle and hog futures rallied today as the crop reports signaled lower costs for livestock feed.

“This is a great day for the cattle and hog producer and the dairyman,” Basse said. “Corn, soybeans and wheat all made their seasonal highs earlier this month. Given favorable weather for the remainder of the growing season, we should have a breathable cushion of inventories.”

Corn Futures Daily Chart

Corn Futures Monthly Chart

Wheat Futures Daily Chart

Wheat Futures Monthly Chart

Soybean Futures Daily Chart

Soybean Futures Monthly Chart

Charts are from Barchart Futures.

As compared to a year ago, prices are down across the board, even on soybeans. Corn prices are down by 50%.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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