Corn Gains on Increased Argentina Crop Concern; Soybeans Steady

Corn rose on speculation that dry weather may damage crops in Argentina, while too much rain slows planting in Brazil, increasing demand for U.S. supplies. Soybeans were little changed.

Most corn fields in Argentina have received less than half the average rainfall in the past 40 days, and hot, dry weather during the next five days will increase stress on developing crops, T-Storm Weather LLC said in a report today. As much as 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain in the next 10 days will slow crop sowing in central Brazil, the private forecaster said.

“Argentina weather is a growing concern and helped to bring in some new buying,” Jeff Beal, a market analyst for Rockford, Illinois-based Gulke Group Inc., said in a telephone interview. “Rain-delayed planting in Brazil could help to revive sluggish U.S. exports.”

Corn futures for March delivery rose 0.5 percent to $7.245 a bushel at 10:54 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Though Jan. 25, the price gained 3.2 percent this month after the government said that U.S. inventories as of Dec. 1 fell to the lowest in nine years.

Soybean futures for March delivery dropped less than 0.1 percent to $14.405 a bushel in Chicago.

U.S. supplies inspected for export fell 17 percent to 40.667 million bushels in the week ended Jan. 24 from a week earlier, the Department of Agriculture said today.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $76.5 billion in 2011, followed by soybeans at $35.8 billion, government figures show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Wilson in Chicago at jwilson29@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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