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Corn chugs higher; wheat leads Wednesday

04/03/2013 @ 10:37am

U.S. corn futures are trading higher Wednesday morning, boosted by a rise in wheat and bargain-hunting.

In electronic trading, Chicago Board of Trade futures for May delivery are up 5 1/2 cents or 0.9% at $6.46 a bushel.

U.S. wheat futures were recently up 2.1%, boosted partly by concerns about poor crop conditions. The rise in wheat is lifting corn as well, since wheat can substitute for corn in animal feed, and a large price disparity would fuel too much demand for the cheaper of the two commodities.

Some traders are also buying corn because they believe the grain is underpriced after a sharp price drop in recent days. Corn prices plummeted starting late last week after a U.S. Department of Agriculture report showed domestic corn stockpiles were much higher than analysts had expected.

May corn on Tuesday settled at a fresh nine-month low for the front-month contract.

Fresh export demand has emerged since the price drop, with notable buying by Asian importers. South Korea's largest animal-feed manufacturer Nonghyup Feed Inc. on Wednesday issued a tender seeking two cargoes of up to 70,000 metric tons each of optional-origin corn, meaning it hasn't yet been determined from which country the provider will source the corn, trading executives said.

South Korea's Feed Leaders' Committee and Major Feedmill Group on Tuesday bought two cargoes totaling 120,000 tons of optional-origin corn at $282.78/ton, basis cost and freight--the lowest price at which South Korean importers have purchased corn in at least 10 months.

U.S. corn traders are also starting to become concerned about wet weather that could cause planting delays in parts of the country. In southern states, unfavorable weather may have damaged already-planted corn crops.

Traders will watch for the U.S. Energy Information Administration at 10:30 a.m. EDT to release weekly data on domestic ethanol production and stockpile levels.

-Sameer C. Mohindru contributed to this article.
Write to Owen Fletcher at owen.fletcher@dowjones.com
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 03, 2013 10:22 ET (14:22 GMT)
DJ U.S. Corn up on Wheat's Gains, Bargain-Hunting After Price Drop->copyright

U.S. soybean futures are trading lower Wednesday, as concerns linger over last week's government report showing higher-than-expected domestic supplies of the oilseed.

Chicago Board of Trade soybeans for May delivery recently were down 4 cents, or 0.3%, at $13.90 a bushel. Prices hit a fresh 12-week intraday low in electronic trading.

Soybean prices have been under pressure since Thursday, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that U.S. soybean stockpiles as of March 1 totaled 999 million bushels, well above the level analysts had expected.

Some traders and investors are still exiting bullish bets on soybean prices in the wake of that report, which "was really a bombshell," said Joe Vaclavik, president of brokerage Standard Grain Inc. in Chicago.

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