Corn, Soybeans Rise Most in a Week on Bets U.S. Supplies to Drop

Apr 08, 2014 4:13 pm ET

April 8 (Bloomberg) -- Corn and soybean futures rose the most in a week before a U.S. Department of Agriculture report tomorrow that analysts say will show domestic inventories declined from last month’s estimate.

The agency will reduce the forecast for corn stockpiles before this year’s harvest by 3.6 percent, the fifth straight cut, as demand increased after prices fell to a 40-month low in January, a Bloomberg survey showed. Since Sept. 1, sales of soybeans rose 24 percent as of March 27 from a year earlier, cutting reserves.

“The markets remain supported by tightening supplies,” Brian Grete, the editor of the Professional Farmers of America newsletter in Cedar Falls, Iowa, said in a telephone interview. “Demand is stronger than expected and helped prices rally further than people thought.”

Corn futures for May delivery rose 1.6 percent to close at $5.07 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest gain since March 31. The grain has climbed 20 percent this year on increasing exports and higher demand for domestic livestock feed after beef and pork prices surged to records.

Electronic trading in futures and options was halted on the CME Group Inc.’s Globex platform before the close in the grain and livestock markets, the exchange said. Stoppages lasted more than 90 minutes for some contracts.

Soybean futures for May delivery advanced 1.2 percent to $14.825 a bushel, the biggest gain since April 1.

Last week, the oilseed reached the highest since June after government data showed reserves on March 1 in the U.S., the world’s top producer, were at the lowest for the date in a decade.

The USDA will probably cut its inventory estimate tomorrow by 4.5 percent, the Bloomberg survey showed.

Wheat futures rose 0.7 percent to $6.81 a bushel, capping the first two-session gain since March 19. The grain has climbed 13 percent in 2014 after cold, dry weather reduced winter-crop prospects.