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Corn Hits One-Week High Amid Speculation Planting Slowed

April 29, 2013
corn field
  
 
 

April 29 (Bloomberg) -- Corn reached a one-week high in Chicago on speculation a government report will show planting slowed in the U.S., while forecasts for cooler weather may further curb sowing. Wheat rose.

Four percent of corn crops in the major U.S. producing states were planted as of April 21, behind the five-year average pace of 16 percent, the Department of Agriculture said April 22. The agency is scheduled to update its weekly crop progress report today. Much of the Midwest, from Missouri to Michigan, had double the normal rainfall in the past two weeks, National Weather Service data show.

The USDA report may "show only minimal seeding activity took place last week, meaning crop concerns will remain heightened," Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, wrote in a report today. "The outlook for later this week shows cool, wet weather plaguing the U.S. Midwest once again, meaning spring crop development will slip even further behind schedule."

Corn for delivery in July advanced 1.9 percent to $6.3125 a bushel at 4:39 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, heading for the biggest gain since April 16. The grain touched $6.33, the highest price since April 19 for a most-active contract. Volume was more than double the 100-day average for that time of day.

 

Iowa Rainfall

Soggy conditions across much of the upper Midwest may delay planting through early May, with showers beginning tomorrow bringing more than 2 inches (5 centimeters) of rain to parts of Iowa and southern Minnesota, QT Weather said in an e-mailed report yesterday.

Soybeans for delivery in July rose 0.1 percent to $13.8275 a bushel. The oilseed touched $13.8725, the highest for a most- active contract since April 19.

Wheat for delivery in July climbed 1.1 percent to $7 a bushel, rebounding from last week’s 2.7 percent drop. In Paris, November-delivery milling wheat increased 0.6 percent to 209.50 euros ($274.11) a metric ton on NYSE Liffe.

Growers, grain traders and industry analysts are touring wheat fields in Kansas, the biggest U.S. winter-crop producer, this week and will begin reporting yield estimates for some regions of the state tomorrow. Drought conditions prevail across most of the central and southern U.S. Great Plains, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, and crops in some areas were damaged by cold weather in recent months.

"Very poor winter-wheat condition ratings and a late emergence from dormancy have seen many make substantial cuts to their hard, red winter-wheat production estimates," Chris Gadd, an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd. in London, said today in an e-mailed report. "As the wheat crop tours progress in the coming weeks through the hard, red winter-wheat belt, more clarity should be found with regard to production estimates."

 

With assistance from Luzi Ann Javier in Singapore. 

To contact the reporters on this story: Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne at psedgman2@bloomberg.net; Whitney McFerron in London at wmcferron1@bloomberg.net.

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