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Corn soars




  • US corn futures advanced on Monday on firm cash markets and concerns that another round of showers would stall planting late this week in the US Midwest, where producers are scrambling to catch up after a cool, wet spring delayed field work. “We’ll definitely see pretty healthy plantings the first half of this week, then delays again beginning next weekend,” said John Dee, meteorologist at Global Weather Monitoring. 

    Wheat rose too, rebounding from losses on Friday following a bearish monthly supply and demand report issued by the US Department of Agriculture. At the Chicago Board of Trade, most-active July corn settled up 19-1/4 cents at $6.55-1/2 per bushel. July soyabeans ended up 20-1/4 cents at $14.19-1/4 a bushel, and July wheat was up 5-1/2 cents at $7.09-3/4 a bushel. 

    Technical buying lent support, with most-active July corn surpassing last week’s high of $6.52-1/2 and briefly trading above its 50-day moving average of $6.58-1/4. The thinly traded May contracts in corn and soyabeans rose sharply ahead of their expiration on Tuesday, supported by tight supplies of old-crop US supplies. May corn settled up 30-1/4 cents at $7.18 after reaching $7.22-1/2, the highest spot corn price since USDA’s March 28 quarterly stocks report sent prices tumbling. 

    Spot May soyabeans ended up 32-3/4 cents at $15.21 after touching $15.27-1/4, the highest spot price in six months. The CBOT has reported no deliveries of soyabeans, corn or soyameal during the May delivery cycle, a sign that commercial grain handlers see more value in selling into the cash market than in delivering against futures. “I don’t know how anyone short in May is going to get out other than buy their way out, and that could get pretty tense,” said Roy Huckabay at the Linn Group, a Chicago brokerage. 

    Planting delays added to the strength in the cash market, analysts said. Producers may be reluctant to sell the last of their old-crop harvest until they feel confident about prospects for the new crop, said Dan Cekander, grain analyst with Newedge USA in Chicago. After the close of the market, the USDA said the US corn crop was 28 percent planted, up from 12 percent a week earlier, but slightly below an average of trade estimates for 29 percent. The figure lagged the five-year average pace of 65 percent. USDA reported soyabean planting progress at 6 percent, up from 2 percent the previous week, but trailing an average of trade estimates for 10 percent, and behind the five-year average of 24 percent. 

    Copyright Reuters, 2013

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