Monday, December 10, 2018
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corn, soybeans, wheat plunge on signs weaker economy will curb crop demand

corn, soybean and wheat futures fell on speculation that the global economic slowdown will reduce demand for food, livestock feed and fuel made from the crops. the standard & poor’s gsci index of 24 raw materials dropped as much as 2.1 percent, while global equity markets fell on concern that europe’s debt crisis is deepening. the chief executive officer of deutsche bank ag, josef ackermann, said market conditions remind him of late 2008, which preceded the worst global economic slowdown since the 1930s.

“increasing european debt problems depressed commodity demand,” greg grow, the director of agribusiness at archer financial services inc. in chicago, said in a telephone interview. “fear and a lack of confidence in governments to address their debt problems and revive economies are reducing speculative buying interest.”

corn futures for december delivery fell 13.25 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $7.4675 a bushel at 10 a.m. on the chicago board of trade. before today, prices were up 70 percent in the past year after hot, dry weather in july and august hurt u.s. crops.

soybean futures for november delivery dropped 27.75 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $14.18 a bushel in chicago. before today, the price gained 43 percent in the past year. the most-active futures touched a three-year high of $14.65 on aug. 31.

wheat futures for december delivery fell 17.75 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $7.5775 a bushel on the cbot. before today, the price rose 8.7 percent in the past year.

the u.s. is the biggest exporter of all three crops. corn is the biggest u.s. crop, valued at a record $66.7 billion in 2010, with soybeans in second place at a record $38.9 billion, government figures show. wheat is the fourth-biggest crop, behind hay, with a value of $13 billion.

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