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USDA Report Sways Soft Commodity ETFs


The corn exchange traded fund saw a brief respite Friday from its bearish streak after the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated a slightly lower-than-expected crop yield.

The Teucrium Corn Fund (CORN) was up 0.6% Friday while CBOT corn futures were up 0.4%. CORN has declined 28.6% year-to-date.

The USDA projects U.S. farmers will produce 13.989 billion bushels of corn this year, a record high, at 160.4 bushels per acre, but the estimate was below expectations of 14.022 billion bushels on yields of 159.43 bushels per acre, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The government also revealed a lower-than-expected 1.887 billion bushels of corn stockpiled for the year ending Aug. 31. The USDA also lowered this year’s harvested corn acres to 87.2 million, which surprised traders.

“Coming in less on the harvested acres was a friendly surprise to the market,” Mike Zuzolo, president of Global Commodity Analytics & Consulting, said in the WSJ article. “We’ve had so many acreage hits in the western Corn Belt.”

The Teucrium Soybean Fund (SOYB) gained 1.1% Friday while CBOT soybean futures were up 1.8%. SOYB is still down 5.9% year-to-date.

Soybean prices increased after the USDA revealed stockpiles next year will be a lower-than-expected 170 million bushels due to strong export demand, which should help move the larger-than-expected 3.258 billion bushel harvest this year, Bloomberg reports.

The Teucrium Wheat Fund (WEAT) jumped 4.4% Friday while CBOT Wheat was down 0.1%. WEAT is still down 23.8% year-to-date. The price disparity could be attributed to the wheat ETF’s holdings, which include second-to-expire CBOT wheat futures, third-to-expire CBOT wheat futures and contracts that expire in December following the expiration month of the third-to-expire contract.

The USDA announced 2014 wheat reserves will total a higher-than-expected 565 million bushels, Bloomberg reports.

For more information on commodities, visit our commodity ETFs category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.