Grain prices were slipping Monday as forecasts of favorable weather improved the prospects for higher crop yields, leading to concerns that there would be bigger-than-expected supplies at harvest time.
July-dated corn futures were off 8 cents at $3.66 a bushel in recent action on the Chicago Board of Trade, while contracts for hard red winter wheat were lower by 10 cents at $4.91 a bushel in trading on the Kansas City Board of Trade.
PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund
, which follows agricultural products, as well as other commodities, was lower by 0.9%.
"We are getting the weather we need right now for improved crops of wheat," says Larry Glenn of Glenn Commodities in Wichita, Kan. He says conditions are expected to be warm, with modest moisture in Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma, the key growing areas for hard red winter wheat.
He also says drier weather in the corn-belt areas of Iowa, Illinois and Indiana will allow the sowing of corn seed. There is expected to be a dramatic increase in the acreage of corn planted this season, Glenn adds.
The firms that sell agricultural products were mixed, with
Archer Daniels Midland
slightly down and
Corn Products International
( CPO) up 2.2%.
Elsewhere in the grain basket, Citigroup dinged shares of fertilizer-maker
down to a hold rating from buy, sending the shares lower by almost 5% recently.
As for the metals, prices for copper contracts were rising 5 cents at $3.58 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Falling inventories and supply worries associated with possible work stoppages in Peru were the driving factors, says Edward Meir, an analyst at commodity broker Man Financial.
Action in the precious metals was relatively subdued on the Comex, with gold futures roughly flat at $682 an ounce and silver contacts up 2 cents at $13.60 an ounce.
The ETFs that hold bars of the precious metals were down.
streetTracks Gold Shares
were down 0.2% and
iShares Silver Trust
was lower by 0.5%.