Corn Rises on Increased Exports, Ethanol Production; Wheat Gains

Source: By Jeff Wilson, Bloomberg • Posted: Friday, November 21, 2014

Corn futures rose for the first time in a week on signs of increasing demand for shipments from the U.S., the world’s top exporter. Wheat prices gained on concern that cold weather will trim planted acreage.

Corn, used to make livestock feed and a gasoline additive, dropped 5.7 percent in the previous four sessions. Export sales in the week ended Nov. 13 jumped 80 percent to 908,689 metric tons from a week earlier, and the number of chicks placed on feed last week rose 1.7 percent from a year earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Production of ethanol rose to the second-highest ever, government figures showed yesterday.

“Exports are supportive as importers stepped in to acquire more bushels,” Shawn McCambridge, the senior grain analyst for Jefferies LLC said in a telephone interview from Chicago. “Ethanol production is increasing, and we are seeing a steady expansion in livestock feeding.”

On the Chicago Board of Trade, corn futures for delivery in March rose 2.7 percent to close at $3.8625 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. Earlier, the price touched $3.7525, the lowest for a most-active contract since Nov. 11.

Wheat futures for March delivery rose 2.1 percent to $5.525 a bushel, the biggest gain since Nov. 12.

McCambridge said that a Midwest freeze may reduce planting of the soft-red winter variety by 90,000 acres from the 8 million he expected a month earlier.

Soybean futures for January delivery advanced 1.6 percent to $10.205 a bushel, the biggest increase since Nov. 11. Delays persisted in shipping supplies to processors.

U.S. freight-train speeds last week were the slowest since 2009 for the period, while carloads of grain in the week ended Nov. 15 fell 3.9 percent from a year earlier, according to Association of American Railroads data.

While soybean output is forecast to rise to a record 3.958 billion bushels, inventories left from last year’s crop were the lowest since 1973, the USDA said this month.