April 30 (Bloomberg) -- Corn extended the biggest gain in 10 months in Chicago, narrowing a third monthly drop, after a government report showed cold and wet weather delayed sowing in the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter of the grain.
Farmers planted only 5 percent of corn in the main U.S. growing states as of April 28, trailing the five-year average pace of 31 percent and the slowest start to the season since 1984, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday. Rains will redevelop from about midweek in the Midwest, with heavy rainfall possible in Illinois, forecaster DTN said in a report.
"Fears of weather-related delays to corn planting are becoming increasingly dominant," Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, said in an e-mailed report today. "The very wet weather forecast for the next few days will also make it impossible to make any rapid progress in closing the gap. Meanwhile, we are nearing the critical point when the delays can no longer be caught up and crop shortfalls will become inevitable."
Corn for delivery in July added 0.9 percent to $6.66 a bushel at 5:49 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, cutting the April retreat to 4.2 percent. Prices touched $6.69, the highest for a most-active contract since April 1. Trading volume was more than double the prior 100-day average for that time of day.
Prices surged by the exchange limit of 40 cents by yesterday’s close, or 6.5 percent, the biggest gain since June 25. Trading limits expand to 60 cents today, exchange owner CME Group Inc. said yesterday.
Illinois, Iowa and Indiana probably will have the wettest April ever, according to T-Storm Weather LLC. Much of the upper Midwest, from Missouri to Michigan, had more than twice the normal rainfall in the past two weeks, National Weather Service data show. The USDA projected March 28 that U.S. farmers would plant 97.282 million acres, the most in 77 years.
Wheat for delivery in July was little changed at $7.1675 a bushel, poised for a first monthly climb in three. In Paris, milling wheat for delivery in November rose 0.8 percent to 213.75 euros ($279.29) a metric ton on NYSE Liffe.
The USDA said yesterday 33 percent of the winter-wheat crop was in good or excellent condition, down from 35 percent a week earlier and 64 percent a year earlier. In India, the largest grower after China, the government will consider lowering the export price after failing to get any bids for 5 million tons to be shipped from state reserves, Food Minister K.V. Thomas said.
Soybeans for delivery in July rose 0.8 percent to $14.2025 a bushel in Chicago, set to gain in April after two months of declines. The oilseed touched $14.2375, the highest level since March 28.
--With assistance from Luzi Ann Javier in Singapore and Prabhudatta Mishra in New Delhi. Editors: Dan Weeks, John Deane.