Fundamentally Speaking

Decline in Corn Prices Last Month Likely Largest Ever for August

Joel Karlin
By  Joel Karlin , DTN Contributing Analyst

As has been the case for the past number of years, price action for the major grain and oilseed contracts was rather desultory in the month of August.

December corn lost about 41 cents for the month, November soybeans were off by 12 cents and December Kansas City wheat tumbled by 44 cents on the way to 14 year lows.

This graphic shows the August price action of December corn, November soybeans and December Kansas City wheat in dollars per bushel since 1995.

We have records going back to 1990 and last month's 41-cent (10.0%) price drop in December corn appears to the largest decline since then and perhaps ever for that contract in the month of August.

The only other years that come close was a 36-cent decline in August of 1981, a 10.5% drop, and a 33-cent tumble in August of 2005 with what may be the largest percentage drop ever for the month of August at 13.2%.

Last month's decline in December KC wheat of 44 cents was also sizable and equal also to a 10.0% price drop though two years ago values fell by 64 cents as they did in 2009 though in 2017 that was a 12.8% fall vs. the 10.9% tumble ten years ago.

As for soybeans, the 12-cent drop last month was actually the most modest decline for a November soybean contract in the month of August since 1992 when a nine-cent loss was recorded.

Last year beans fell by a sizable 69 cents or 6.5% though since 1995 the biggest declines for November soybeans in August was 78 cents or 5.6% in 2008 and a 74-cent or 9.9% loss in 1981.

In recent years August has not been too kind to the bulls as this marks the fifth year in a row that all three major crop prices have declined in August with December corn and November soybeans closing lower the past six Augusts in a row.



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