Corn May Advance on Speculation Price Declines Will Help Increase Demand

Corn futures may gain on speculation that declining prices will increase demand for raw materials used to make food and biofuels. Wheat and soybeans may rise.

Corn has dropped 3.6 percent this year, soybeans are down 18 percent and wheat has plunged 23 percent. China’s soybean imports may rise to 60 million metric tons this year, more than the 56.5 million forecast by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Abah Ofon, an analyst at Standard Chartered Bank, said in a report.

“Overall we still expect markets to trend higher in Q1-2012, although at a less aggressive pace than we saw at the start of the year, as they remain pinned down by uncertainty,” Ofon said. “We also believe investor demand will return, but this will depend very much on sentiment, which in turn hinges on developments in the euro area.”

Corn for delivery in March was little changed at $6.0475 a bushel by 1:43 p.m. London time on the Chicago Board of Trade. Futures have declined 6.5 percent this month, partly on concern that the European debt crisis won’t be solved, cutting demand for commodities.

Soybeans for delivery in January gained 0.2 percent to $11.4975 a bushel. The most-active contract has declined 5.6 percent in November.

Wheat for March delivery was little changed at $6.095 a bushel in Chicago. Milling wheat for January delivery traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris gained 1 percent to 181.75 euros ($245.45) a ton.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tony C. Dreibus in London at tdreibus@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Deane at jdeane3@bloomberg.net.

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