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Planting surge sinks corn futures

05/21/2013 @ 3:32pm

U.S. corn futures settled at a four-week low Tuesday, after a surge in corn plantings last week eased concerns that planting delays this spring could reduce the new crop's output.

Corn futures for July delivery at the Chicago Board of Trade settled down 9 1/2 cents or 1.5% at $6.40 a bushel, the lowest close for the front-month contract since April 24.

U.S. farmers sowed corn at a feverish pace last week as warm, dry weather allowed producers throughout the Midwest to return to their fields, a government report showed Monday. Cold, wet weather from Nebraska to Ohio earlier this spring had caused a slow start to plantings, raising worries of tighter corn supplies after the fall harvest.

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On Monday afternoon, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the corn crop was 71% planted as of Sunday, up sharply from 28% a week earlier. The one-week percentage gain in seedings matched the record of 43 percentage points set in 1992.

Wheat futures were pulled lower by the decline in corn prices and expectations for ample world wheat supplies this year. Analysts expect production to rebound from last year's drought-reduced levels in areas like the former Soviet Union.

Soybean futures ended mixed, with nearby futures jumping on tight current supplies and strong demand from domestic processors.

CBOT July wheat settled down 4 3/4 cents or 0.7% at $6.80 1/2 a bushel, the lowest close for the front-month contract since April 2. July soybeans rose 13 3/4 cents or 0.9% to $14.78 1/4 a bushel.


Write to Owen Fletcher at owen.fletcher@dowjones.com
Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 21, 2013 14:40 ET (18:40 GMT)
DJ U.S. Corn Futures Settle Down on Planting Progress Surge->copyright


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