The price of soybeans hit at an all-time high Thursday on expectations that Tropical Storm Isaac may cause more damage to crops that already have been battered by the drought.
Soybeans for September delivery rose 9 cents to finish at $17.7025 per bushel. That topped the previous record high of $17.575 per bushel set July 20. The most active contract, for November delivery, rose 10.5 cents to end at $17.635 per bushel.
Isaac was a Category 1 hurricane when it made landfall Monday in Louisiana. Although it has weakened, the storm still is packing heavy rain and high winds as it swirls into the heart of the nation's cropland.
Some reports of flooded soybean fields have been coming in as the front edge of the storm moved into the Delta and parts of some states, including Arkansas, Illinois and Indiana, Telvent DTN analyst Darin Newsom said.
"Some of those places still had some pretty good looking beans and now I've heard talk of anywhere from 2 to 8 inches of rain in a very short period of time," he said. "A crop that was questionable at best to begin with is now facing some more problems."
The storm is hitting when the soybeans are in the final phases of growth and don't need a lot of moisture, he said. Winds also could flatten soybean plants and corn stalks.
Global soybean supplies are critically low while demand remains strong. And nearly 40 percent of the U.S. crop is in poor to very poor condition as the harvest is about to start.
Wheat for December delivery fell 2.75 cents to finish at $9.03 per bushel. December corn dropped 5 cents to $8.085 per bushel.