U.S. corn futures sank for a second consecutive day Friday as a larger-than-expected government inventory estimate continued to pressure prices.
Corn for September delivery ended down 41 1/4 cents, or 6.4%, to $6.06 3/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade. The contract faced pent up selling pressure after the contract hit the exchange's limit on one-day declines Thursday.
Corn for July delivery, the front-month contract, rebounded after dropping nearly 10% Thursday, ending up 11 3/4 cents, or 1.9%, at $6.40 3/4 a bushel. Corn for December delivery, the most actively traded contract, stayed under pressure, losing 23 3/4 cents, or 3.8%, to $5.96 3/4 a bushel.
In other markets, wheat and soybean futures rebounded from steep losses. The markets dropped Thursday on spillover pressure from corn's losses.
Driving corn prices lower Friday was selling fueled by two crop reports issued Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The reports showed unexpectedly high estimates for how much of the crop was planted this spring and for existing inventories as of June 1.
Prices should stabilize next week as liquidation fueled by the government's estimates is likely nearing an end, said Chad Henderson, analyst for Prime Ag Consultants, a brokerage in Wisconsin. He predicted market participants will refocus on weather forecasts, as favorable conditions are still needed to produce a big crop.
"If we go up 30 cents or down 30 cents, it's going to be all weather" related, Henderson said.
Soybean futures recovered, as the market had to add premium back into prices amid weather uncertainties for the developing crop, said analyst Tim Hannagan, analyst for PFG Best, a brokerage in Chicago. Soybeans for November delivery rose 18 1/2 cents, or 1.4%, to $13.12 1/2 a bushel.
Wheat futures stabilized at the CBOT after falling the one-day limit Thursday on pressure from corn. Soft red winter wheat for September delivery slipped 2 cents, or 0.3%, to $6.12 1/4 a bushel.
September oats rose 1.8% to $3.47 a bushel, while December ethanol climbed 1.8% to $2.214 per gallon. December soymeal climbed 3.1% to $341.00 per short ton, and December soyoil rose 0.3% to 56.30 cents a pound. September rice advanced 0.4% to $14.91 per hundredweight.
At the Kansas City Board of Trade, hard red winter wheat for September delivery gained 1.9% to $7.20 3/4 a bushel. Hard red spring wheat for September delivery rose 1.2% to $8.04 1/2.