Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Corn prices break above the 2008 highs

The drought across the US continues to cause havoc, driving agricultural commodities prices higher. Corn futures hit a record today, exceeding the 2008 highs.

Corn futures
Reuters: - The hot, dry weather prompted analysts to reduce corn yield estimates, pointing to a smaller crop in the world's No. 1 grower than had been expected. In a Reuters poll Tuesday - the day after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported on crop conditions - analysts on average pegged the U.S. corn yield at 153.4 bushels per acre, down from 157.3 bushels a week ago.

The USDA on Monday slashed its condition rating for U.S. corn to 48 percent good-to-excellent, down 8 percentage points from a week earlier. It pegged the soybean crop at 45 percent good-to-excellent, compared with 53 percent a week ago.
The forecasters are predicting some relief from the heat wave coming soon, but the damage may already have been done. As the chart below shows, corn crop conditions have deteriorated rapidly in recent weeks and the futures prices are reflecting it.

Corn: percentage of crops in "good" or "excellent" conditions (source: USDA)
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