Bloomberg News

Corn Set to Gain on Speculation Over China’s U.S. Buying

May 03, 2012

Corn rose for the first time in three days on speculation that China may boost purchases from the U.S. after drought cut the harvest in Argentina.

Exporters in the U.S., the biggest grower and shipper, sold 130,000 metric tons of corn to unknown destinations for delivery for the year starting Sept. 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday. Last week, the agency said exporters sold 1.44 million tons to unknown destinations, the biggest one- day sale since December 1994.

“China could be on a buying spree,” Lynette Tan, an analyst at Phillip Futures Pte., said by phone from Singapore today. “They will not have enough corn to meet their demand.”

Corn for July delivery gained 0.1 percent to $6.1225 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade by 1:15 p.m. London time, after earlier gaining as much as 0.4 percent. The price lost 3.6 percent in the past two days.

Corn production in Argentina will drop to 21.2 million tons in the crop year that began March 1, compared with 23.6 million tons a year earlier, the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service said in a report yesterday. Output will rebound next year, reaching 24.68 million tons, the FAS said.

Wheat for July delivery rose 0.5 percent to $6.175 a bushel. The grain tumbled 4.4 percent yesterday, the most in more than three months, on speculation rain and warm weather will boost yields in the U.S. In Paris, November-delivery milling wheat fell 0.4 percent to 201 euros ($263.73) a ton.

Farmers in southwestern and central Kansas and parts of northern Oklahoma may collect 48.5 bushels an acre this year, according to a survey of 566 fields during the first two days of the Wheat Quality Council’s crop tour. The record yield in Kansas was 49 bushels an acre in 1998, according to the USDA.

Farmers in Kansas, the biggest U.S. grower of winter wheat, may plant “a lot” of soybeans because the wheat harvest is progressing faster than usual and the price of the oilseed has rallied, said Tom Leffler, owner of Leffler Commodities LLC. Winter wheat is harvested in May and June, about the same time as soybean planting.

July-delivery soybeans dropped 0.2 percent to $14.8225 a bushel, the third straight decline.

To contact the reporter on this story: Luzi Ann Javier in Manila at ljavier@bloomberg.net; Whitney McFerron in London at wmcferron1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net


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