GRAINS- Fall-harvest corn plunges as USDA shocks with acres jump
* Dec corn drops 5.1 percent on USDA acreage surprise
* New-crop soybeans ease on good weather, lower corn
* Old-crop corn, soy rise on tight stocks
* Wheat falls for seventh straight session, hits 1-year low
(Updates with closing prices, fund selling estimates, weekly, monthly and quarterly performance) CHICAGO, June 28 (Reuters) - U.S. futures prices for corn to be harvested this autumn plunged more than 5 percent on Friday to the lowest point in more than a year after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said farmers have planted 2 million more acres of the crop than expected. Favorable crop weather around the Midwest reassured investors that the fall harvest could be the largest ever, boosting U.S. stocks to 2 billion bushels by the end of next season and replenishing 16-year low stocks this summer. Soybean futures for autumn-delivered supplies slid nearly 2 percent on good crop weather and on spillover pressure from sinking corn, shrugging off a USDA plantings estimate that was 200 million acres below trade expectations. Wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) slipped to a one-year low on harvest pressure, falling for a seventh straight session in the longest losing streak for the spot contract in 3-1/2 years. "The corn number coming in higher than March intentions is a shocker here. Two million acres above expectations is considered bearish," said Joe Vaclavik, president of Standard Grain. "We were a bit lighter on acreage in beans, and stocks came in a little below expectations," he said. Based on a survey of 70,000 farmers, the USDA pegged corn plantings at 97.379 million acres, 2 million acres, or 2 percent, more than expected by analysts. Soybean plantings were a record 77.728 million acres, up 1 percent from last year, but 200,000 acres lower than the average forecast.
GOOD CROP WEATHER Nearly ideal corn and soybean growing weather is expected in early July in the U.S. Midwest, with moderate temperatures and occasional showers likely, an agricultural meteorologist said on Friday. "It looks real good for the next two weeks, there will be regular showers and cooler temperatures in all areas," said Andy Karst, meteorologist for World Weather Inc. Tighter-than-anticipated old-crop stocks of corn and soybeans fueled gains in nearby contracts of both commodities, though gains were restrained by deferred-month declines. "Old-crop corn stocks and old-crop bean stocks are still going to remain razor tight. But the new crop production potential and the good weather trumps the stocks," said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities. USDA pegged the June 1 U.S. corn stockpile at 2.764 billion bushels, below the average trade view of 2.845 billion, and soybean stocks at 718.3 million bushels, below the 745-million-bushel trade outlook. CBOT July corn rose 12 cents to $6.79-1/4 a bushel, up 1.8 percent on the day and 2.6 percent on the week. The spot contact posted its first monthly gain in five months, rising 2.6 percent, but declined for the third consecutive quarter. New-crop December corn fell 27-1/2 cents to $5.11 a bushel, a 5.1 percent decline that was the largest since March 28, when USDA released its first acreage forecast of the season. July soybeans gained 16 cents, or 1 percent, to $15.64-1/2 a bushel, the highest point for a spot contract since October. The spot contract gained 4.7 percent on the week, the most in 11 months, while rising for a third consecutive month and posting its strongest quarterly jump in five quarters. New-crop November dropped 23-1/4 cents, or 1.8 percent, to a one-month low of $12.52 a bushel. CBOT July wheat fell 15 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $6.48-1/2 a bushel, the lowest level for a spot contract since June 20, 2012. The contract has declined 8.3 percent in its seven-session slide. Spot wheat posted its steepest weekly decline in nearly 13 months, the largest monthly decline since February and the third straight quarterly drop. Commodity funds sold an estimated net 25,000 corn contracts, 8,000 soybean contacts and 5,000 wheat contracts on the day, trade sources said.
Prices at 2:26 p.m. CDT (1926 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD CHG CHG CHG CBOT corn 679.25 12.00 1.8% -2.7% CBOT soy 1564.50 16.00 1.0% 10.3% CBOT meal 490.30 10.70 2.2% 16.6% CBOT soyoil 46.42 0.02 0.0% -5.6% CBOT wheat 648.50 -8.00 -1.2% -16.6% CBOT rice 1574.00 24.00 1.6% 5.9% EU wheat 194.25 -2.50 -1.3% -22.4% US crude 96.50 -0.54 -0.6% 5.1% Dow Jones 14,967 -57 -0.4% 14.2% Gold 1227.40 27.91 2.3% -26.7% Euro/dollar 1.3009 -0.0025 -0.2% -1.4% Dollar Index 83.1940 0.2920 0.4% 4.3% Baltic Freight 1171 20 1.7% 67.5%
(Additional reporting by Sam Nelson and Julie Ingwersen; Editing by Jim Marshall, Sofina Mirza-Reid, Peter Galloway and Chris Reese)