U.S. corn futures are headed for their biggest one-month selloff since last September as worries surrounding Euro debt fears and the resulting global economic slowdown continue to escalate. Spring rains also have been present in some key growing areas which also lend a bearish tone to prices. The CME July contract closed Thursday at $5.57, down about 15 percent for May.
“There has been a large amount of fund liquidation driving the decline in the old-crop July contract that has led the selloff,” according to Marty Foreman, Doane senior economist. “In addition, weakness in the financial markets tied to the Euro zone debt crisis, with the focus now on Spain, has contributed to the selling pressure in the commodity markets generally. Prospects for a favorable outcome to the debt crisis are eroding.”
The crisis could slow world economies thereby hindering U.S. corn demand. As a result, exports for corn seems to be slipping. “It appears that export demand has eased with importers shifting buying interest to South America,” says Foreman.
However, much of the southern and eastern Midwest is short on soil moisture, leaving the possibility that bears may have to give up control of corn prices they have wielded for most of May. “While some scattered showers have helped, they will not recharge soil moisture which will leave it vulnerable to another period of heat and dryness,” says Foreman.
Extended forecasts call for above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation for much of the Corn Belt. “If that happens, the corn crop is at risk and prices could quickly bounce back,” adds Foreman.
Many commodities, including soybeans and wheat, are under pressure amid the worsening Euro debt crisis, which has heightened investor worries, according to Reuters. The July soybean contract gave up 31 cents ending Thursday’s trade at $13.41. Soybean meal dropped below $400 ending at $395.