GRAINS-Corn falls most in 3 years on improving U.S. crop prospects

martes 21 de junio de 2016 17:38 GYT

* CBOT corn sags as funds liquidate long positions
    * Soybeans follow corn; weather seen as less threatening
    * USDA maintains U.S. corn crop ratings, cuts soybeans
    * Wheat nears one-month low as U.S. harvest continues

 (Recasts after further fall in futures; updates with closing
    By Julie Ingwersen
    CHICAGO, June 21 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures tumbled
nearly 6 percent on Tuesday, the biggest one-day slide in three
years, as forecasts for less-threatening weather in the Midwest
prompted funds to liquidate long positions, traders said.
    Soybeans and wheat followed corn's lead. K.C. hard red
winter wheat futures <0#KW:> hit contract lows.
    At the Chicago Board of Trade, the July corn contract 
settled down its daily 25-cent limit at $3.96-1/4 a bushel, its
lowest level since May 25. 
    July soybeans ended down 10-1/4 cents at $11.33-1/4 a
bushel after dropping to $11.28-3/4, near last week's low. CBOT
July soft red winter wheat settled down 14-1/2 cents at
$4.58-1/2 a bushel.
    Corn's 5.9 percent drop was the biggest for a spot contract
 since September 2013. After Tuesday's close, the CME
Group, parent of the CBOT, said it would expand the daily
trading limit in corn to 40 cents a bushel for Wednesday's
session, expanding from the normal limit of 25 cents.
    Technical selling accelerated on Tuesday as new-crop
December corn fell through chart support near $4.20.
    "It's grand-scale liquidation in the corn market due to
better moisture in the forecast and cooling temperatures," said
Tom Fritz, a partner with EFG Group in Chicago. "It looks like
you hit some major sell-stops."
    Commodity funds had built up a massive net long position in
CBOT corn in recent weeks as the spot contract neared a
two-year high on export demand tied to tightening South American
supplies and uncertainty about the U.S. growing season.
    But the U.S. Department of Agriculture's weekly crop
progress report late on Monday rated 75 percent of the U.S. corn
acreage in good to excellent condition, unchanged from the
previous week, despite a hot spell in the Midwest. Analysts
surveyed by Reuters had expected a decline in crop ratings.
    Forecasters called for much-needed rains this week, easing
worries about dryness. The USDA's report showed topsoil moisture
declining in big corn states, including Iowa, Illinois and
    "The prediction of rain has gone some way to allaying fears
of an overly dry summer," Commerzbank said in a market note.    
    Soybean futures sagged in sympathy with corn, although
confirmation of fresh export sales of U.S. soybeans and soyoil
lent underlying support. 
    The USDA rated 73 percent of the U.S. soybean crop as good
to excellent, down from 74 percent a week earlier and in line
with trade expectations.
    CBOT wheat followed the weaker trend, with the July contract
 dipping to $4.57-1/4 a bushel, its lowest since May 12.
The market faced additional seasonal pressure from the U.S.
winter wheat harvest, which was 25 percent complete by Sunday,
the USDA said.
    CBOT settlement prices:
                                   Net     Pct  Volume
                Name      Last  change  change        
 CBOT wheat     Wc1     458.50  -14.50    -3.1   62553
 CBOT corn      Cc1     396.25  -25.00    -5.9  259718
 CBOT soybeans  Sc1    1133.25  -10.25    -0.9   75143
 CBOT soymeal   SMc1    393.30   -9.40    -2.3   39565
 CBOT soyoil    BOc1     31.36   -0.28    -0.9   45154
    CBOT wheat, corn and soybeans shown in cents per bushel,
soymeal in dollars per short ton and soyoil in cents per lb.

 (Additional reporting by Nigel Hunt in London and Melanie
Burton in Melbourne; Editing by David Clarke and Andrew Hay)