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Five out of six for corn

10/09/2013 @ 3:48pm

CHICAGO--Corn rose for the fifth time in six sessions as ethanol stockpiles dropped to their lowest level for the week in at least two years, and on signs of improved demand for U.S. supplies. Wheat and soybeans fell.

Corn climbed after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said ethanol stockpiles last week slumped 18% from a year earlier, indicating increased demand for the fuel additive that is made from the grain.

Corn prices have dropped 36% this year on government forecasts that U.S. producers would harvest a record 13.8 billion bushels and stockpiles would surge. That could boost demand from overseas buyers. China may be seeking corn after prices fell, said Terry Reilly, a senior commodities analyst at brokerage Futures International in Chicago. Lower prices also may cause farmers to store grain in bins or at elevators until futures increase, cutting the amount available to producers of food, ethanol and animal feed.

"It's been our opinion that even with the big crop and big supplies, looking at demand side," prices will be underpinned, said Arlan Suderman, a senior market analyst at Peoria, Ill.-based brokerage Water Street Solutions. "Farmers have no desire to settle for $4 corn so they're holding onto it."

Chicago Board of Trade corn futures for December delivery gained 1 3/4 cents to $4.43 1/2 a bushel. Soybean futures for November delivery on the CBOT fell 1 cent, or 0.08%, to $12.87 3/4 a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat futures declined on speculation that drier weather in Russia and Ukraine will boost planting in the so-called Black Sea region. Prices rallied to a 15-week high recently on speculation growers in the countries wouldn't be able to get their crops planted.

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