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Corn Rally Deflates; Soybeans, Wheat Track Lower Wednesday

Updated: 04/30/2014 @ 5:30pm

U.S. corn futures eased Wednesday after reaching an eight-month high in the previous session on concerns about poor weather and planting delays for the U.S. crop.

Tuesday's rally came as rain and cold temperatures throughout the Corn Belt kept farmers from seeding their fields as early as normal, fueling worries that fewer acres of the grain would be planted this spring. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Monday that planting progress was well below the previous five-year average.

Forecasters on Wednesday said that while planting is likely to run at least a week behind schedule in early May, warmer, drier weather in central and southern swaths of the Corn Belt this weekend and next week will aid sowing of the grain and prevent more serious delays.

Corn for May delivery fell 6 cents, or 1.2%, to $5.09 3/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade. Corn on Tuesday reached $5.15 3/4 a bushel, the highest closing price for a front-month contract since August 26, 2013.

"These bull markets have to be fed everyday," said Jason Britt, president of Central States Commodities Inc., a Kansas City, Missouri, brokerage firm. "We're going to get an opening here in the weather, where at least it's going to warm up. I think that's causing a little bit of skittishness."

Although scattered rain showers will linger in the upper Midwest for the next few days, temperatures in the 60s and 70s will aid sowing of the grain farther south, according to a report by private forecaster Commodity Weather Group LLC. The more favorable weather will offer farmers a short planting window before rains return next Thursday, slowing progress again throughout the Farm Belt.

The USDA said in a weekly crop-progress report Monday that farmers had planted 19% of the corn crop, lagging behind the 28% average over the previous five years.

Soybean futures also fell Wednesday after reaching their highest level in more than nine months in the previous session, supported by enduring strong demand for the oilseeds.

Analysts said Wednesday's modest dip in prices comes as fields are expected to dry out in the next few days, making it possible for planters to start rolling for soybean seeding.

CBOT May soybeans dropped 6 cents, or 0.4%, to $15.18 a bushel.

Wheat futures also dropped, despite continued concern about drought-stricken crops in the western U.S. Great Plains. Analysts said reports of favorable weather in other wheat-growing regions around the world could be weighing on prices.

CBOT May wheat fell 2 3/4 cents, or 0.4%, to $7.05 1/4 a bushel.

Write to Jesse Newman at jesse.newman@wsj.com
Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 30, 2014 11:10 ET (15:10 GMT)
DJ Corn Futures Ease After Rally; Soybeans, Wheat Lower->copyright

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