Soybeans, Corn Rise as Hot Weather May Threaten Argentine Crops

December 20, 2013 09:24 AM

Soybeans gained the most in almost two weeks and corn rose on speculation that hot weather will hamper crop development in Argentina, the world’s top exporter of oilseed-based livestock feed. Wheat climbed.

Temperatures as high as 105 degrees Fahrenheit (41 Celsius) in the next 10 days will increase stress on plants with immature root systems, World Weather Inc. in Overland Park, Kansas, said in a report. Warm, dry weather in parts of Paraguay and southern Brazil will also begin to threaten some crops, the company said.

"The fear of reduced crops in South America is boosting the markets," Gregg Hunt, a broker at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. "No one is going to be rewarded being short with the adverse weather forecasts."

Soybean futures for March delivery advanced 0.9 percent to close at $13.31 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since Dec. 9. The oilseed rose 1.3 percent this week, snapping a two-week decline.

Corn futures for March delivery added 0.6 percent to $4.3325 a bushel, capping a weekly increase of 1.8 percent. The price tumbled 38 percent this year as the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast that production will jump 30 percent to a record.

Wheat futures rose from a 19-month low on speculation that low temperatures next week will boost the risk of yield damage to some fields in the U.S., Hunt said. The nation is the biggest producer.

About 10 percent of the soft-red winter crop from Arkansas to Ohio may be damaged from sub-freezing temperatures next week, Commodity Weather Group LLC said in a report.

Wheat futures for March delivery gained 0.5 percent to $6.135 a bushel, paring a third consecutive weekly decline. Earlier, the price touched $6.0725, the lowest since May 16, 2012. 

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