The current forecast of a record U.S. corn harvest could lead to $4-per-bushel prices on new-crop December contracts, according to analysts.
The December contract, the first month to typically reflect the year's corn harvest, fell on May 11 to the lowest level in nearly 15 months, closing at $5.05-1/4 after breaking below $5 for the first time in 17 months. Weather, said analysts, will be a significant factor, particularly in July, when plants pollinate and yields are set. High heat and dry weather could hurt plant development and reduce yield. "New crop corn will be about $4 probably after mid-July," said grains analyst Robert Bresnahan of Trilateral Inc. "A large portion of the crop was planted early and they received timely rains. I see a downtrend (in prices)."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is currently forecasting a record corn harvest of 14.8 billion bushels, up nearly 20 percent from 2011's harvest. The corn yield estimate is at 166 bushels per acre.
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