Corn gets a lift from planting delays
U.S. corn futures are trading higher Friday morning, staying within their trading range for the week as traders remain concerned about planting delays in the Midwest.
In electronic trading, Chicago Board of Trade futures for May delivery are up seven cents, or 1.1%, at $6.51 1/2 a bushel. December corn, a contract associated with the crop to be harvested this autumn, is up 5 1/4 cents, or 1.0%, at $5.46 1/2 a bushel.
Corn futures stabilized after falling near the bottom end of their trading range for the week. Futures have bounced back and forth since Monday.
Prices are supported by cold, wet weather that is delaying corn planting in the Midwest. Late corn planting could reduce yield expectations for crops, or lead some farmers to plant soybeans instead of corn. In either case, tighter corn supplies this autumn could result.
After heavy storms this week across the Midwest, the weekend will be drier. But another storm system will hit the corn belt on Tuesday.
"While still not as heavy as this week's rainfall, the track for this system now favors more of the central and southwestern Midwest," with precipitation totals ranging from a half-inch to two inches, Commodity Weather Group said in a forecast note.
Areas affected will include the parts of the Mississippi River valley that already had river flooding after this week's rain, the note said. "These areas will see the slowest seeding progress over the next 2 weeks, while corn areas to the south and east will see the best opportunities for corn planting," it said.
Corn futures are also rising on expectations for part of the Mississippi River to close due to this week's flooding, a hurdle for deliveries of corn shipped on the river.
While a total closure of the river would be negative for corn prices, a partial closure is likely instead, and that will lead buyers to pay a premium to obtain corn from other areas, said Jim Gerlach, president of A/C Trading Co., a Fowler, Ind., commodities brokerage.
"The fact that it's not a sustained closure I think is supportive, not negative, for the market" on Friday, he said. But, he said, "as time goes on and the river goes down, that's probably not an issue."
Write to Owen Fletcher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 19, 2013 10:19 ET (14:19 GMT)
DJ U.S. Corn Futures Rise On Continued Planting-Delay Worries->copyright
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