Power Hour: Grains Rise as Adverse Weather Threatens Crops

April 16, 2013 09:30 AM

April 16 (Bloomberg) -- Corn and wheat futures rebounded from the biggest declines in two weeks on speculation that cold, wet weather will delay planting of U.S. crops, threatening to reduce acreage sowed and yields. Soybeans rose.

As much as 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) of rain in the next four days will saturate soils and cause some flooding across the Midwest and southern Mississippi River Valley, preventing farmers from planting corn, T-Storm Weather said in a report. Snow and freezing temperatures during the next 10 days will add to snow depths across the northern U.S., adding to sowing delays of spring-wheat varieties, the private forecaster said.

"The delays are increasing and are driving prices higher today," Mark Schultz, the chief analyst for Northstar Commodity Investments Inc. in Minneapolis, said in a telephone interview. "The odds are increasing that some corn and wheat will not get planted in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Yield potential is already beginning to decline because of the slow start."

Corn futures for July delivery rose 0.9 percent to $6.335 a bushel at 10:12 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after declining 2.1 percent yesterday.

Wheat futures for delivery in July gained 0.3 percent to $7.0125 a bushel in Chicago after tumbling 2.8 percent yesterday. On the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, wheat futures for July delivery climbed 0.9 percent to $7.9575 a bushel. Soft-red winter wheat is traded in Chicago and spring wheat in Minneapolis.

About 2 percent of the U.S. corn crop was sown as of April 14 in 18 major producing states, the Department of Agriculture said yesterday. That’s behind last year’s 16 percent and an average of 7 percent in the previous five years. Spring-wheat planting in the top six producing states was 6 percent completed this week, down from 33 percent last year and 13 percent on average. None was planted in Minnesota or North Dakota.

Soybean futures for delivery in July gained 0.8 percent to $13.67 a bushel on the CBOT.


--With assistance from Luzi Ann Javier in Singapore and Ranjeetha Pakiam in Kuala Lumpur. Editors: Thomas Galatola, Millie Munshi


To contact the reporters on this story: Whitney McFerron in London at wmcferron1@bloomberg.net; Jeff Wilson in Chicago at jwilson29@bloomberg.net


To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net.


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