Corn May Advance After Decline to Lowest in Three Weeks Triggers Buying

Corn advanced for the first time in four sessions after a drop to the lowest price in three weeks spurred buying interest and on speculation that China will boost imports as cold weather threatens to damage crops.

Corn for July delivery climbed as much as 1.7 percent to $3.5975 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade and was at $3.595 a bushel at 1:14 p.m. London time. The price dropped to $3.515 yesterday, the lowest since April 7, and lost 4.8 percent in the three sessions through yesterday.

Cold weather early this week will likely delay the planting of corn, soybeans and spring-wheat in northeast China, and potentially damage crops planted earlier, Telvent DTN Inc. said in a forecast yesterday.

“When you see a fair bit of selling in the last three or four trading sessions, it will have a little bit of a bounce up,” Peter McGuire, managing director at CWA Global Markets Pty said by phone from Sydney, citing investors covering short positions, or bets on price declines. “There’s always concern” when weather problems threaten China’s crops, he said.

Snow and cold weather in northeast China will delay spring crop planting by more than 10 days, the Ministry of Agriculture said yesterday. The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast that China, the world’s second-largest corn producer and consumer, will import 100,000 metric tons of the grain this year.

Nineteen of 34 traders and analysts surveyed from Chicago to Tokyo on April 23 said corn prices will rise this week, and 24 said soybeans will gain on concern over cold weather in China.

Soybeans for July delivery rose 0.5 percent to $9.975 a bushel.

Chinese Imports

China, the world’s largest soybean buyer, may import a record 14 million tons in the second quarter, the China National Grain & Oils Information Center said today in an e-mailed statement.

Higher imports by China may benefit suppliers in South America, where prices are cheaper, more than U.S. exporters, capping gains in Chicago prices, McGuire said.

Wheat futures for July delivery added 0.4 percent to $4.9225 a bushel in Chicago. The most-active contract has dropped 9.1 percent this year because of reduced demand for U.S. grain and rising global stockpiles.

To contact the reporters on this story: Sungwoo Park in Seoul at spark47@bloomberg.net; Luzi Ann Javier in Singapore at ljavier@bloomberg.net

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