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Corn jumps on demand, USDA positioning

01/09/2013 @ 3:02pm

U.S. corn futures rose Wednesday, boosted by concerns about tight supplies and expectations for the federal government to trim its estimate of domestic corn production last year.

Chicago Board of Trade March corn futures settled up 5 1/2 cents, or 0.8%, at $6.94 1/4 a bushel.

March corn Monday was trading at a six-month intraday low for the front-month contract. But futures have since recovered slightly, as some traders think the recent decline was overdone when supplies remain tight.

Analysts on average expect the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in crop reports due Friday, to peg its final estimate of last year's corn harvest at 10.626 billion bushels, 0.9% below its most recent forecast, according to a poll by Dow Jones Newswires.

"Corn I think is drawing a little support from the realization that we have to make it until the U.S. new crop, and you're starting to see more and more meteorological studies about the chances of increased dryness" continuing in the U.S., said Jim Gerlach, president of A/C Trading Co., a Fowler, Ind., commodities brokerage.

Even after the report, traders may push corn futures higher to encourage enough spring corn planting in the U.S. to satisfy demand, he said.

Wheat futures fell, pressured by negative technical signals and expectations for the USDA on Friday to report that U.S. farmers last fall planted 3.1% more acres of winter wheat than the year before.

CBOT March wheat futures fell five cents, or 0.7%, to $7.45 1/2 a bushel. Kansas City Board of Trade March wheat fell 7 1/2 cents, or 0.9%, to $8.01 1/4 a bushel. Minneapolis Grain Exchange March wheat fell 4 3/4 cents, or 0.6%, to $8.40 1/2 a bushel.

Soybean futures ended mixed. Analysts on average expect the USDA's soybean harvest estimate to rise 0.9%, to 2.999 billion bushels. Expectations for a larger crop have weighed on futures in recent weeks, but traders are also hesitant to push prices too low since supplies will still remain tight overall, and demand has generally been strong.

March soybean futures fell one cent, or 0.1%, to $13.85 1/2 a bushel.

Write to Owen Fletcher at
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 09, 2013 15:45 ET (20:45 GMT)
DJ UPDATE: U.S. Corn Futures Rise on Tight Supplies, USDA Expectations->copyright

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