CHICAGO, March 31 (Reuters) - The daily trading limit for Chicago Board of Trade corn futures and options will expand to 60 cents a bushel when the grain markets reopen on Sunday following the three-day holiday weekend after CBOT futures dove the standard 40-cent limit on Thursday, reacting to the government's bearish grains stocks data, CBOT's parent CME Group said on its web site.
CBOT corn closed Thursday locked down the 40-cent limit in May futures at $6.95-1/4 per bushel and July corn at $6.76. Both contracts - which price the value of corn harvested last autumn and stored in grain bins across the country - tanked when the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported U.S. farmers and grain firms held 5.399 billion bushels of corn on March 1. While corn stocks were down 10 percent from a year ago after the U.S. drought slashed crop yields, stocks were 400 million bushels more than most traders expected.
Options trading remained open Thursday for the nearby contracts after futures locked limit down. Options trades implied May futures settled at $6.77 and July at $6.56-1/2, indicating the market could open another 18-1/4 to 19 cents lower when the CBOT markets reopen at 5 pm CDT (2200 GMT) on Sunday evening.
Trading limits in wheat and soybeans remain at 60- and 70-cents, respectively, since those markets did not close limit down on Thursday.