The latest news release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is the equivalent of a blockbuster record to commodity futures brokers and traders – and it's corn, wheat and soybean futures that are soaring up the charts.
Corn, wheat and soybeans saw massive gains after the report hit the wires, and agricultural companies are also booming in the stock markets.
In fact, corn, soybean and wheat futures all hit their Chicago Board of Trade-imposed trading limits after the open: Corn was up 30 cents per bushel, wheat up 60 cents and soybeans up 70 cents.
In essence, the USDA said that U.S. cornfields will generate yields far smaller than either analysts or the USDA's own researchers had projected. Last month, the department was calling for a record crop with yields of 162.5 bushels per acre.
But hot weather and heavy rains haven't helped, and analysts guessed that this month's figure would come in at 159.9 bushels per acre.
Instead, the USDA released a national projected corn yield of 155.8 bushels per acre; so far, the survey of the harvest is about 50 percent complete.
The report is likely to lead to some tricky questions about biofuels and the role that the U.S. plays in supplying the international grain markets.
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