Wednesday, August 22, 2012

grain futures prices august 22 2012

grain futures prices august 22 2012, corn prices 8/22/2012, wheat prices : U.S. grain futures were mildly lower during European morning hours on Wednesday, as market participants locked in gains from a recent rally, but losses were limited as investors looked forward to findings from the annual Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour.

Meanwhile, wheat prices were lower for the first time in six days, as traders continued to monitor deteriorating crop conditions in Russia and the Ukraine.

Escalating concerns over the impact of the worst drought in at least 56 years on crops in the U.S. Midwest and Great Plains-region fuelled a furious rally in grain prices over the past two months.

Corn prices have surged nearly 55% during the period, wheat futures soared approximately 40%, while soy prices added 24%.

Grain traders were looking forward to findings from the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour this week. Participants include farmers, brokers, hedge fund analysts, agronomists and grain buyers, who travel the main corn-and-soybean-growing regions in seven states over four days.

The Professional Farmers of America will release its own U.S. crop estimates on August 24, based partly on the tour’s findings.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, corn futures for September delivery traded at USD8.2900 a bushel, shedding 0.25%. The September contract was stuck in a tight trading range of USD8.2825 a bushel, the daily low and a session high of USD8.3113 a bushel.

Prices touched USD8.3237 a bushel on Tuesday, the highest since August 10 when prices rose to an all-time high of USD8.4237 a bushel.

Tour participants reported that yields in Ohio were set to fall to the lowest level in ten years, while those in Indiana stand at their lowest level in 17 years. Tour organizers also reported disappointing corn yields in Nebraska and South Dakota.

Weekly crop progress data from the USDA released earlier in the week showed that 23% of the U.S. corn crop was rated in ‘good’ to excellent’ condition as of August 19, unchanged from the previous week and below the 57% recorded in the same week a year earlier.

The share of the U.S. corn crop that was rated ‘poor’ to ‘very poor’ held steady at 51%.

The U.S. produced 38% of the world's corn last year, making it the both world's largest corn producing nation and the largest exporter of the grain.

Elsewhere, soybeans futures for September delivery traded at USD17.4713 a bushel, declining 0.35%.

The front-month contract traded in a range of USD17.4338 a bushel, the daily low and a session high of USD17.5562 a bushel, which was the strongest level since July 22.

Soy prices rallied to a record high of USD17.7762 a bushel on July 20.

Tour findings showed that soybean counts in Ohio came in at an average 1,033.7 pods per nine-square-foot area, down 17.5% from last year.

In South Dakota, tour scouts reported an average 584.9 pods on plants per nine square feet, down 47% from a year ago.

The USDA said 31% of the soybean crop was rated ‘good’ to ‘excellent’ last week, up a modest 1% from the previous week. Despite the improvement, U.S. soy crop conditions remain at the lowest levels since 1988 for this time of year.

Soy futures have gained sharply in recent weeks, as the same hot, dry weather that boosted corn was seen benefitting soy futures as well. Soybeans are grown in many of the same regions across the U.S. as corn.

Meanwhile, wheat for September delivery traded at USD8.9362 a bushel, dropping 0.75%. The September traded in between a range of USD8.9275 a bushel, the daily low and a session high of USD8.9863.

Front-month prices hit USD9.0462 a bushel on Tuesday, the highest since August 10.

Wheat futures have rallied nearly 6.5% in the five sessions leading up to Wednesday, boosted by concerns over tightening supplies from Russia.

Influential Russian industry group SovEcon said last week that Russia's exportable grain surplus of 10 million to 11 million tonnes could run out by November if the country retains a high pace of exports.

According to the firm, Russian wheat stocks totaled 10.61 million tonnes as of August 1, down 30% from a year earlier and the lowest since 2003.

The news fuelled fears over the implementation of export limits on Russian grain shipments in the near-term.

Russia is a major wheat exporter and competes with the U.S. for business on the global market. Fears over a disruption to supplies from the country could boost demand for U.S. supplies, which is the world’s third largest wheat producer and biggest exporter.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at USD66.7 billion in 2010, followed by soybeans at USD38.9 billion, government figures show. Wheat was fourth at USD13 billion, behind hay.

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