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Corn prices fall on expectations for strong crop

June 3, 2014

Corn prices settling lower for the fourth day in a row on Tuesday as expectations build for a plentiful harvest.

Corn dropped 7 cents, nearly 2 percent, to settle at $4.58 a bushel, its lowest settlement price since Feb. 27, according to FactSet.

“Corn is getting creamed,” said Sterling Smith, a commodities strategist at Citigroup. “Planting is just about finished and it looks like we’re getting a very solid-looking crop.”

A progress report released late Monday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggested that this year’s corn crop is in good shape. The report said 95 percent of the crop is in the ground and described three-quarters of the crop as good or excellent. None of it was considered very poor.

Other grains and crops traded lower. Wheat lost 8 cents to $6.13 a bushel, and soybeans lost 19 cents to $14.81 a bushel.

Warmer weather in the Midwestern U.S., along with rainfall to parched growing regions, have been pushing down prices for many crops. Smith said the trend should continue as weather forecasts for the next few weeks look even better.

“A few rounds of rain followed by sunny, warm weather,” he said. “It’s just about perfect for growing stuff.”

In other trading, gold for August delivery rose 50 cents to $1,244.50 an ounce. Silver for July edged up 2 cents to $18.76 an ounce.

Industrial metals ended mixed. Copper for July slipped 3 cents to $3.14 a pound. Platinum for July fell $3.20 to $1,433.50 an ounce, and palladium for September added $4.05 to $836.70 an ounce.

In the market for oil and gas, crude oil rose 19 cents to close at $102.66 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Wholesale gasoline was flat at $2.95 a gallon. Heating oil fell a penny to $2.87 a gallon, while natural gas rose 2 cents to $4.63 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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