Corn, soybean prices dive on warm weather forecasts


NEW YORK (AP) -- Corn and soybean prices plunged Monday as investors set aside their supply worries and bet that dry weather in the U.S. corn belt will allow growers to speed up planting.

Other commodities traded mostly lower, with crude oil falling from a record above $117 and silver and copper also retreating.

Dry, warm weather is expected this week across the U.S. corn belt after days of heavy rainfall that have soaked fields and slowed spring planting. The favorable forecast raised hopes that planting could resume at a faster pace, touching off a broad agriculture sell-off in everything from corn to wheat to oats.

"Planting is still going to be very slow, but we have a drier outlook for this week, so you've got prices dropping back," said Jason Ward, analyst with North Star Commodity in Minneapolis.

Soybeans for May delivery fell 46 cents to settle at $13.155 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, after earlier dropping as low as $12.915, its lowest level in two weeks. Corn for May delivery lost 19.25 cents to settle at $5.8025 a bushel on the CBOT after earlier falling as low as $5.695.

The agricultural decline also affected wheat prices, which shed 24.25 cents to settle at $8.4575 a bushel for the May contract.

Also pressuring agriculture prices was last week's rally on Wall Street, when investors sent the major market indexes up 4 percent.

"You're starting to make new highs on the stock market so you're going to start drawing some capital to stocks and out of commodities," Ward said.

In energy futures, crude oil shot up to a new record above $117 after an attack on a Japanese oil tanker in the Middle East. Crude has surged to new records for six trading sessions in a row. Experts say prices could soar even higher heading into the busy summer driving season.

Light, sweet crude for May delivery rose to a record $117.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange before settling at $117.48, up 79 cents from Friday's close.

Other energy futures also fell. May gasoline futures gasoline futures fell about a penny to settle at $2.9791 a gallon, while May heating oil futures rose 1.9 cents to settle at $3.3114 a gallon.

In precious metals, gold futures rebounded from Friday's sharp decline after the dollar weakened against the euro, enhancing the metal's appeal as a hedge against inflation.

Gold for June delivery rose $2.40 to settle at $917.60 an ounce on the Nymex, after earlier rising as high as $931.90.

Other precious metals traded lower Monday. Silver for May delivery lost 46 cents to settle at $17.360 an ounce, while May copper fell 2.2 cents to $3.866 a pound.

© 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.

631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email:
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 17988234 -
Gray Television, Inc.