Soybeans, Wheat Post Sharp Losses; Corn Also Slips
CHICAGO (AP) _ Soybeans and wheat futures prices posted sharp losses Friday on the Chicago Board of Trade, while corn futures prices also slipped.
Soybeans futures prices sank more than half the 30 cents daily trading limit amid waning fears of widespread frost damage to the late-planted crop. A cold snap overnight Thursday in the Midwest was not as widespread or severe as originally believed.
``The main thing far and away was the weather,″ said Dean Witter, Discover & Co. analyst Victor Lespinasse. ``It didn’t look like we had that much damage overnight and people decided to bail out.″
Temperatures overnight Friday were expected to dip into the 30s across much of the Midwest, but only Wisconsin was expected to have temperatures below 29 degrees _ the point at which hardy soybeans plants begin to die.
Corn futures closed lower, but well above the day’s lows as investors focused on possible frost damage to the crop. Estimates of corn losses ranged from 70 million to 250 million bushels. Given the extremely tight U.S. corn supply and demand outlook, even minor losses will translate into more demand rationing through 1995-96 as overseas sales remain strong, analysts said.
Wheat futures ended a four-day rally with heavy losses as Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman for a second day dashed hopes Russia will seek a U.S. credit package to buy wheat and wheat flour.
Wheat for December delivery fell 8 cents to 4.83 a bushel; December corn fell 1 cent to $3.10 a bushel; December oats fell 3/4 cent to $1.76 1/2 a bushel; November soybeans fell 18 3/4 cents to $6.45 a bushel.
Cattle futures were mostly higher on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, with October live cattle climbing to seven-week highs on strong beef demand. Pork futures prices were mostly lower in a round of profit-taking following Thursday’s strong gains.
October live cattle rose .47 cent to 65.67 cents a pound; October feeder cattle fell .08 cent to 64.32 cents a pound; October live hogs fell .25 cent to 47.05 cents a pound; February frozen pork bellies were unchanged at 60.40 cents a pound.