Corn falls after encouraging crop inspections

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Associated Press

Posted on August 20, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 20 at 3:00 PM

Corn prices dropped Tuesday after crop inspections in the Midwest added to evidence that the U.S. will produce a big harvest this year.

Traders are following the annual Professional Farmers of America Midwest Crop Tour to glean more information about the prospects for this year's crop. The group said on its website that "stellar corn yields" are forecast for South Dakota and that the Ohio crop would be better than average.

Corn for December delivery fell 10 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $4.76 a bushel.

The grain had its biggest one-day gain in almost four months Monday after dry weather was forecast for the Midwest.

The trend for corn prices this year has been overwhelmingly lower after the government said in the spring that growers intended to plant the most corn in almost 80 years. The price of corn has fallen 32 percent this year and is down 43 percent peaking at $8.39 a bushel last August when the crop was decimated by drought.

"Everything needs a bit of rain, but as long as we get it, we should have some really pretty good crops here," said Jack Scoville, a vice president at Price Futures Group. "That's what the market is starting to realize here."

In trading of other agricultural products, soybeans and wheat also dropped Tuesday.

Metals were mixed.

Gold, platinum and copper rose. Silver and palladium fell.

December gold rose $6.90, or 0.5 percent, to $1,372.60 an ounce. Copper for September edged up 0.6 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $3.34 a pound. Platinum for the same month rose $16.50, or 1.1 percent, to $1,525.50.

Silver for September fell 9.5 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $23.07 an ounce. Palladium for the same month fell $3.25, or 0.4 percent, to $749.65.

In energy trading, the price of oil dropped the most in two months.

Oil fell $2.14, or 2 percent, to $104.96, as traders waited for the U.S. central bank to signal when it will start scaling back its monetary stimulus.

Heating oil rose 1 cent to $3.08 per gallon, wholesale gasoline lost 1 cent to $2.93 a gallon and natural gas fell 2 cents to $3.44 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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