Corn ratings worsen as US Midwest drought extends

The condition of the US Corn crop worsened for a eighth straight week, the longest such streak since June 1996, as the worst Midwest drought in a generation expanded. Soybean ratings also fell.

About 24% of the Corn was in good or excellent condition as of yesterday, down from 26% a week earlier, the US Department of Agriculture said today in a report.

An estimated 29% of the Soybeans got the top ratings, down from 31%. The assessments are the worst for both crops for this time of year since a drought in Y 1988.

"The damage has been done to the Corn crop," Peter Meyer, a senior director of agriculture commodities at PIRA Energy Group in New York, said by telephone today. "Now the weather is starting to become more of a factor in the soybean markets."

So far, the worst of the Midwest drought occurred when corn plants were going through the critical pollination stage. Soybeans, usually planted later, are just now entering reproductive stages so they have more time to grow.

Corn futures reached a record 8.1775 bu Monday on the Chicago Board of Trade and have surged 28% this month.

Soybean are up 15% in July. Little or no rain fell in parts of Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska, the largest corn-growing states in the US, in the past week, National Weather Service data show.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr. writes and publishes The Red Roadmaster's Technical Report on the US Major Market Indices, a weekly, highly-regarded financial market letter, read by opinion makers, business leaders and organizations around the world.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr has studied the global financial and stock markets since 1984, following a successful business career that included investment banking, and market and business analysis. He is a specialist in equities/commodities, and an accomplished chart reader who advises technicians with regard to Major Indices Resistance/Support Levels.