Corn sinks as traders expect higher crop estimate

AP News
Posted: Dec 13, 2013 4:23 PM

Corn prices fell Friday as traders expect the government raise its crop production estimate next month.

Corn futures were also falling after China held up some U.S. corn shipments after saying unapproved genetic strains were found. Traders were also worried about preliminary moves in the Senate to attempt to eliminate the mandate to use ethanol in fuels.

"The situation is so bad for corn, it's hard to pick one reason," said Todd Hultman, a grain analyst with DTN/The Progressive Farmer in Omaha, Neb.

The actively traded March contract for corn slumped 8.75 cents, or 2 percent, to settle at $4.255 a bushel Friday.

Wheat fell slightly, and soybean futures edged higher. March wheat fell five cents, or 0.8 percent, to $6.2875 a bushel, while January soybeans edged up 3.75 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $13.275 a bushel.

Energy contracts fell broadly. Benchmark U.S. crude oil for January delivery fell 90 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $96.60 a barrel.

Wholesale gasoline fell half a penny to $2.63 a gallon, heating oil fell nearly half a penny to $2.98 a barrel and natural gas edged down 6 cents to $4.351 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Metals prices were mixed.

Gold rose $9.70, or 0.8 percent, to $1,234.60 an ounce. Silver and copper also edged higher, but platinum and palladium futures fell slightly.

March silver rose 15.1 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $19.604 an ounce and copper for delivery in the same month was up 1.7 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $3.312 a pound.

January platinum fell $1.50, or 0.1 percent, to $1,362.90 an ounce and palladium for March delivery fell $4.05, or 0.6 percent, to $716.20 an ounce.