Corn Rises for Second Day as Wet Weather May Delay U.S. Sowing

Apr 23, 2014 4:02 pm ET

April 23 (Bloomberg) -- Corn futures rose for a second straight day on speculation that cold, wet weather will further delay planting in the U.S., the world’s largest grower. Wheat advanced, and soybeans fell.

As much as 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) of rain may fall through tomorrow in parts of the Midwest, with an additional 2.5 inches possible early next week, Bethesda, Maryland-based Commodity Weather Group said in a report. In the 18 major producing states, 6 percent of the corn crop was planted as of April 20, compared with an average of 14 percent in the previous five years, government data show.

“Weather seems to still be arguing for delays into May,” Dave Marshall, a farm-marketing adviser at Toay Commodity Futures Group LLC in Nashville, Illinois, said in a telephone interview. “Cold temperatures next week certainly won’t help whatever corn has been planted to germinate.”

Corn futures for July delivery gained 1.5 percent to close at $5.095 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The grain has gained 21 percent this year on improving demand.

Below-average temperatures are forecast for the next 10 days in the Midwest and Great Plains, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration models.

Ethanol demand and strong export sales are also helping to boost futures, Marshall said. Ethanol production was 910,000 barrels a day in the week ended April 18, up 6.7 percent from a year ago, the Department of Energy said today. USDA data show 1.6 million metric tons of corn were inspected for export in the week ended April 17, the most since at least 1994.

Soybean futures for July delivery fell 0.4 percent to $14.6475 a bushel. The oilseed touched $14.605, the lowest since April 15, on speculation that U.S. shipments from Brazil will climb as buying wanes from China, the largest importer.

Wheat futures for July delivery rose 0.5 percent to $6.8275 a bushel. The grain has climbed 13 percent this year amid concern that drought and freezing temperatures would damage the yields in the Great Plains.

--With assistance from Jeff Wilson in Chicago.