Corn Climbs as Surging Cattle, Milk Prices Boost Grain Outlook

January 22, 2014 06:19 AM
Corn Climbs as Surging Cattle, Milk Prices Boost Grain Outlook

Corn prices rose for the second straight day as U.S. cattle and milk futures climbed to records, signaling higher grain demand from livestock producers. Wheat advanced, and soybeans fell.

Cattle prices in Chicago have climbed 15 percent since June 30, while milk futures reached an all-time high of $22.47 per 100 pounds. Egg output rose 2 percent in December from a year earlier, government data show. Corn prices have tumbled fell 41 percent in the past 12 months.

"This is ‘go’ time for the livestock and chicken industries with lower feed costs and rising meat prices," Brian Grete, senior market analyst at Pro Farmer, said in a telephone interview. "The plunge in corn prices will encourage producers to pack on more pounds on every animal and encourage expansion."

Corn futures for March delivery gained 0.4 percent to $4.265 a bushel at 11:08 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Yesterday, the price gained 0.2 percent.

Temperatures may be as much as 15 degrees below normal into next week from the Midwest to the East Coast, the Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Md., said in a report.

Cold and snow increase demand for livestock feed to maintain animal weights and health, while the weather slowed truck shipments to livestock operations and barge traffic to exporters at ports near New Orleans, Grete said.

Wheat futures for March delivery climbed 0.5 percent to $5.65 a bushel. On Jan. 10, the price touched $5.605, the lowest since July 10, on forecasts for global output to climb to a record.

Soybean futures for March delivery fell 0.3 percent to $12.77 a bushel. Yesterday, the price tumbled 2.7 percent, the most in 16 weeks, on prospects for bumper crops in South America.

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