Corn Climbs to Seven-Week High on Signs of Demand

February 3, 2014 03:09 AM
Corn Climbs to Seven-Week High on Signs of Demand

Corn extended its first monthly gain since August, climbing to the highest level in seven weeks amid signs of rising demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest grower.

U.S. exporters sold 110,000 metric tons to Spain for delivery by Aug. 31, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Jan. 31. That followed the sale to Spain earlier last week of a consignment of the same amount and another for 150,000 tons reported on Jan. 24, as well as sales last week of 127,000 tons and 119,888 tons to unknown destinations. The agency is scheduled to report weekly export inspections today.

"Export activity for American origins remains very strong, as to date 86 percent of the target has been reached, compared to a five-year average of 63 percent at this stage," Paris- based farm adviser Agritel wrote. "It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the USDA review its target upward."

Corn for March delivery rose as much as 0.6 percent to $4.365 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the highest since Dec. 12, before trading at $4.36 by 7:06 a.m. Prices rose 2.8 percent in January. Futures trading volumes were about average for the past 100 days for this time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

"Demand continues to be supportive for corn values," Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, wrote in a note today. "Containing any move higher at the moment are thoughts that comfortable world supplies will easily accommodate demand."

Global corn production will total a record 966.9 million tons in 2013-2014, according to the USDA.

Soybeans for March delivery declined 0.1 percent to $12.8125 a bushel. Wheat for delivery in March added 0.1 percent to $5.5625 a bushel in Chicago, while milling wheat for delivery the same month traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris fell 0.3 percent to 192 euros ($259.14) a ton.



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