Bloomberg News

Corn Rebounds on U.S. Export Gain; Soybeans Drop; Wheat Rises

February 17, 2012

Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Corn futures rebounded from a three- week low on signs of rising demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter. Soybeans fell, and wheat rose.

U.S. exporters sold 1.07 million metric tons of corn in the week ended Feb. 9, the most since October, the government said. Futures dropped in the past two days on speculation that farmers this year may plant the most acres since 1944. The U.S. and China will sign a five-year accord to cooperate on farm trade, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today.

“Exports have been considerably better on these breaks” in prices, Jason Britt, the president of Central States Commodities Inc., a brokerage in Kansas City, Missouri, said in a telephone interview. “Everyone is talking about this big acreage to be forthcoming, but you can’t sit here and slam the price every day when we haven’t raised one bushel yet.”

Corn futures for May delivery rose 1.4 percent to settle at $6.3975 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price touched $6.26, the lowest for a most-active contract since Jan. 25.

Soybean futures for May delivery dropped 0.3 percent to $12.65 a bushel in Chicago. The price has advanced 4.7 percent this year on mounting concern that dry weather in South America will erode output.

Some growing areas in Brazil may get rain beginning on Feb. 20, Telvent DTN said. U.S. exporters sold 614,654 tons of soybeans in the week ended Feb. 9, down 6.6 percent from a week earlier, the Department of Agriculture said.

“Export sales were poor, really disappointing for what was expected,” Chad Henderson, an analyst at Prime Agricultural Consultants Inc. in Brookfield, Wisconsin, said in a telephone interview. “The South American weather forecast is calling for some rain, so that’s negative.”

Wheat futures for May delivery rose 0.2 percent to $6.3525 a bushel in Chicago. Egypt, the world’s biggest importer, bought 180,000 tons from the U.S. in a tender today.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $66.7 billion in 2010, followed by soybeans, hay and wheat, government data show.

--Editors: Patrick McKiernan, Steve Stroth

To contact the reporter on this story: Whitney McFerron in Chicago at wmcferron1@bloomberg.net

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


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