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Weather, bargains send corn higher

04/16/2013 @ 1:14pm

U.S. corn futures are trading higher Tuesday morning, boosted by concerns about slow planting and fresh buying interest after a price decline.

In electronic trading, Chicago Board of Trade futures for May delivery are up 10 cents or 1.5% at $6.56 3/4 a bushel.

U.S. farmers are planting the new corn crop at a slower-than-average pace due to recent cold, wet weather, according to data released Monday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The government, in its first weekly corn planting estimate of the year, said 2% of the U.S. corn crop was seeded as of Sunday, down 14 percentage points from last year and below the five-year average of 7%. The progress was even further behind than the 4% to 6% that analysts had expected.

Concerns about planting delays boosted futures last week. This week, heavy rainfall in the Midwest will prevent much planting progress in states like Iowa, Missouri and Illinois. Up to four-and-four-tenths inches of precipitation will fall in part of northern Illinois in the next five days, according to a forecast from the National Weather Service.

However, analysts expect drier weather next week to allow for more planting to continue.

If planting is significantly delayed, yield expectations will fall and some farmers could plant soybeans instead of corn, boosting corn prices.

Corn is also up due to lower prices attracting fresh buying, after a broad selloff in commodities on Monday dragged corn futures lower. Commodities overall are also performing better on Tuesday than on Monday, with gold higher after a plunge on Monday.


-Andrew Johnson Jr. contributed to this article.
Write to Owen Fletcher at owen.fletcher@dowjones.com
Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 16, 2013 10:35 ET (14:35 GMT)
DJ U.S. Corn Rises on Slow Planting Progress, Buying After Decline->copyright

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