CHICAGO — Corn, soybean and wheat futures for July delivery fell here yesterday on the Chicago Board of Trade, on speculation that the swine flu outbreak will decrease demand for pork, and therefore, livestock feed.
Corn futures for July delivery declined 5 cents, or 1.3%, to $3.8075 a bushel according to a report from Bloomberg Newswires. Earlier, the price had fallen as much as 4.1%. The grain has declined 36% in the past year and is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $47.4 billion in 2008.
Futures for July delivery of soybeans, the second-largest U.S. crop valued at $27.4 billion, fell 37 cents, or 3.6%, to $9.97 a bushel. The drop was the biggest for a most-active contract since Feb. 17. The price has dropped 25% in the past 12 months.
Wheat, the fourth biggest U.S. crop after hay and valued at $16.6 billion, declined 23.75 cents, or 4.4%, to $5.195 a bushel for July delivery, the biggest drop since March 25. The price has slumped 36% in the past year on increased global production and decreased demand for U.S. grain.
Hog and pork-belly futures plunged 3 cents a pound — the most allowed by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Several nations have banned pork from Mexico and the U.S. since the outbreak. China, Russia, Indonesia and the Philippines have blocked imports of pork from Mexico and parts of the U.S. China banned shipments from Texas, California and Kansas, according to the country’s General Administration of Quality Supervision.
Ken Goldman, a JPMorgan Chase & Co. analyst, also lowered his estimates for Tyson Foods Inc. and Smithfield Foods Inc. earnings this year, according to Bloomberg.
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