April 1, 2013 / 2:56 AM / 5 years ago

GRAINS-Corn slides to 9-mth low, wheat down on higher stocks

* Corn falls 4 pct to lowest since late June 2012
    * US report shows stocks higher than mkt expectations
    * Wheat at 3-wk low, soy remains under pressure

 (Updates with quotes, details)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, April 1 (Reuters) - Chicago corn dropped to a
nine-month low on Monday, falling 4 percent and suffering its
biggest two-day slide since January 2010, with
larger-than-expected U.S. stockpiles piling pressure on the
    Wheat declined to its lowest in three weeks, while soybean
prices remained on the backfoot after the U.S. Department of
Agriculture in its quarterly stocks report last week announced
higher reserves than market estimates.
    Chicago Board of Trade most-active May corn fell as
much as 4 percent to $6.67-1/2 a bushel, the lowest since late
    "Corn bulls were disappointed as the market was looking for
much lower supplies," said Abah Ofon, a commodities analyst at
Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore. 
    "Earlier the concern was the market would struggle to source
supplies but now it looks like it can actually hold out until
new-crop supplies come in."
    The USDA surprised the market with forecasts for old-crop
corn supplies, estimating the stockpile at the lowest in nine
years, up from an average estimate of the lowest in 15 years.
    It pegged corn stocks as of March 1 at 5.399 billion
bushels, above the average analyst estimate of 5.013 billion
bushels. The USDA also said farmers would plant the highest corn
acreage since 1936. 
    The USDA showed corn disappearance for the Dec-Feb quarter
tumbled 27 percent from a year earlier. USDA chief economist Joe
Glauber said the figures implied the smallest corn consumption
for that period since 2002.
    Although corn and soybean stocks were larger than expected,
three years of declining production have depleted supplies and
leave little leeway for a bad harvest. March 1 stocks for both
crops were the smallest total on that date since 2004.
    This year farmers are expected to increase overall seedings
after the worst drought since 1934 last summer reduced yields
and sent corn and soybean futures to a record last year. But
higher prices have dented demand.
    Wheat slid to its lowest in three weeks and soybeans
remained under pressure.
    CBOT May wheat fell as much as 0.9 percent to
$6.81-1/4 per bushel, the lowest since early March, while May
soybeans gave up 0.3 percent to $14.00-1/2 a bushel.
    Soybean stocks of 999 million bushels were 7 percent larger
than the average trade guess, and also topped even the most
bearish forecast.
    Plantings of all varieties of U.S. wheat were estimated at
56.4 million acres, up 1 percent from last year, while stocks of
wheat were up 3 percent from a year ago. Wheat stocks, at 1.234
billion bushels, were 5 percent larger than expected.
    Large speculators raised their net long position in Chicago
Board of Trade corn and soybean futures in the week to March 26,
regulatory data showed. 
    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's weekly
commitments of traders report also showed that noncommercial
traders, a category that includes hedge funds, trimmed their net
short position in CBOT wheat.
  Prices at  0233 GMT
  Contract        Last    Change  Pct chg  MA 30   RSI 
  CBOT wheat     683.25    -4.50  -0.65%   867.18   28
  CBOT corn      668.25   -27.00  -3.88%   764.18   20
  CBOT soy      1400.50    -4.25  -0.30%  1577.23   31
  CBOT rice      $15.33   -$0.04  -0.23%   $15.48   67
  WTI crude      $96.78   -$0.45  -0.46%   $89.21   69
  Euro/dlr       $1.278   $0.049  
  USD/AUD         1.040   -0.015  
  Most active contracts
  Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight
  RSI 14, exponential

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Joseph Radford)
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