Corn Futures Head for Longest Run of Monthly Gains Since 2010

Apr 29, 2014 3:57 pm ET

April 29 (Bloomberg) -- Corn futures rose, heading for the longest run of monthly gains since 2010, as planting slowed in the U.S., the world’s largest exporter. Wheat jumped to the highest in more than a year, and soybeans advanced.

The government said yesterday that U.S. corn planting was 19 percent completed as of April 27, compared with the average of 28 percent in the previous five years and 21 percent forecast by analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Cold, wet weather this week may delay seeding, according to T-Storm Weather LLC in Chicago.

“The planting pace is behind, and farmers won’t get much done this week,” Tim Emslie, the research manager for CHS Hedging Inc. in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, said in a telephone interview. “We will be lucky to get to 26 percent planted by next week. Until we have more certainty, the market will add some risk premium.”

Corn futures for July delivery climbed 1.5 percent to close at $5.215 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price reached $5.22, the highest for a most-active contract since April 9. The grain headed for the fourth straight monthly advance, the longest rally since October 2010.

Planting of spring wheat across the northern Great Plains has been delayed by the adverse weather. Farmers sowed 18 percent as of April 27, trailing the five-year average of 30 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Conditions Deteriorate

Winter wheat to be harvested beginning next month was rated 34 percent in poor or very poor condition, up from 33 percent a week earlier.

A crop tour this week in Kansas, the top state grower of the hard red-winter variety, probably will indicate that drought and freeze damage will cut the crop to 299 million bushels from 319 million a year earlier, another survey of analysts showed.

In Chicago, hard red-winter wheat futures for July delivery jumped 2 percent to $8.025 a bushel. Earlier, the price reached $8.0325, the highest since Feb. 11, 2013. The U.S. is the top exporter.

Soft red-winter wheat futures for July delivery advanced 1.1 percent to $7.165 a bushel.

Soybean futures for July delivery gained 1.2 percent to $15.1725 a bushel.