Corn futures surge on planting delays
U.S. corn futures are trading higher Thursday morning on concerns that cold, wet weather could further delay corn planting in the Midwest.
In electronic trading, Chicago Board of Trade futures for May delivery are up 3 1/2 cents, or 0.5%, at $6.64 a bushel.
Corn futures have risen in the last two weeks on concerns about planting delays in the Midwest. Heavy rainfall is hitting much of the Midwest this week, after planting progress as of Sunday was already behind the pace that analysts had expected.
Forecasters expect drier weather heading into the end of the month to allow for greater planting. Further rain is still expected, but a dry window of just several days could be enough to spur significant planting.
"Up to a 4-day window of drier weather could allow corn seeding to pick up early next week," mainly in the southeastern quarter of the corn belt, Commodity Weather Group said in a daily forecast note. But another storm with precipitation totaling mostly a half-inch to two inches is projected in the southern and eastern Midwest from Monday to Wednesday, the forecast said.
Snow on the ground in the upper Midwest, including North Dakota and Minnesota, is likely to delay planting there as well, analysts say.
Late corn planting reduces yield expectations and could lead some farmers to plant soybeans instead, reducing corn supplies after the harvest. But concerns about planting delays will only become more severe if the weather remains cold and wet enough to push planting beyond early May, analysts said.
Corn export sales in a weekly government report on Thursday were in line with analysts' expectations. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported net corn export sales of 417,200 metric tons in the week through April 11, including 400,300 tons for delivery in the current marketing year that ends Aug. 31. Analysts had expected total net sales of 250,000 to 500,000 tons.
Separately, Strategie Grains on Thursday raised its estimate for the European Union's 2013-14 corn production by 0.5 million tons to 64.6 million tons, due to acreage transfers from spring barley in France, Poland and Germany.
-Michael Haddon contributed to this article.
Write to Owen Fletcher at firstname.lastname@example.org
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 18, 2013 10:28 ET (14:28 GMT)
DJ U.S. Corn Futures Rise on Planting Delay Worries->copyright
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