Corn Drops for First Time in Three Days as U.S. Rains Aid Sowing

Corn declined for the first time in three days after heavy rains in the Midwest boosted soil moisture needed for planting in the main growing region of the U.S., the world’s largest producer. Wheat gained.

Corn for delivery in July lost as much as 0.6 percent to $6.375 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Futures were at $6.3825 by 9:49 a.m. in Singapore on volume that was 42 percent less than the 100-day average for that time of day.

Soil moisture in the Midwest is now mostly adequate to surplus, reversing the conditions last year when the U.S. suffered a drought, DTN said in a report yesterday. The drought, the nation’s worst since the 1930s, cut corn production in the U.S. to the least in six years.

“Improving conditions in those corn-growing areas will certainly pressure prices lower,” Graydon Chong, a grains and oilseed analyst at Rabobank International, said by phone from Sydney. “We’re trading a weather market where we’re waiting how the spring crop will develop. The volatility in the market will very much be driven by updates in the weather forecast.”

Showers and thunderstorms predicted for the central and south plains in the U.S. will again miss the west Kansas region, southeast Colorado and parts of Oklahoma and Texas, DTN said. Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado are the biggest growers of winter wheat in the U.S., the Department of Agriculture says.

Wheat for July delivery gained as much as 0.5 percent to $7.105 a bushel before trading at $7.0775. Soybeans declined 0.2 percent to $13.7725 a bushel.

“Obviously, the winter-wheat areas at the moment are still quite dry and cold,” Chong said. “We’ve yet to see what sort of damage was done to those crops.”

About 31 percent of the U.S. winter-wheat crop was rated poor-to-very poor as of April 14, up from 30 percent a week earlier, the USDA said April 15.

To contact the reporter on this story: Luzi Ann Javier in Singapore at ljavier@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net

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