NEW YORK — Corn prices fell back toward their lowest levels in more than three years Tuesday as U.S. farmers closed in on a record harvest.
Farmers in the 18 most important corn-producing states have harvested about 95 percent of this year's crop, according to a government report released late Monday. The government estimated that the U.S. will produce a record 14 billion bushels of corn this year.
Corn has slumped this year as traders and buyers anticipated a record crop. The price decline reversed a surge last year that pushed prices to a record after the crop was decimated by drought.
"We are under harvest pressure," said Todd Hultman, a grains analysts at DTN. "We've gone from a situation of tight supplies last year, to one where corn is plentiful."
The price of corn for delivery in March fell 6.25 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $4.19 a bushel Tuesday. The grain's price has fallen 40 percent this year, and dropped as low as $4.12 a bushel last week, its lowest level since August 2010.
In other trading of agricultural products, wheat fell and soybeans were unchanged.
Wheat for March fell 3.25 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $6.56 a bushel. Soybeans for January settled at $13.29 a bushel.
In metals trading, gold was flat at $1,241.40 an ounce.
Other metals edged lower.
Silver for December delivery dropped 3.4 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $19.85 an ounce. Copper for the same month dropped 1 cent, or 0.3 percent, to $3.21 a pound.
Platinum for January delivery fell $5.90, or 0.4 percent, to $1,371.90 an ounce. Palladium fell $3.70, or 0.5 percent, to $716.20 an ounce.
In energy trading, the price of oil fell as traders wait to see if the government reports a 10th straight weekly increase in U.S. crude oil supplies. Benchmark U.S. crude for January delivery fell 41 cents to close at $93.68 a barrel.
In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline added 1 cent to $2.69 gallon. Heating oil added 1 cent to $3.04 a gallon. Natural gas gained 3 cents to $3.82 per 1,000 cubic feet.