Crop Prices Advance as Slow U.S. Planting, Growth to Curb Supply

Crop prices gained on concerns that slow planting progress and worsening crop conditions in the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter of corn and wheat, will curb yields and reduce global supplies. Soybeans advanced.

Corn for July delivery advanced as much as 0.2 percent to $6.48 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade and was at $6.475 by 9:56 a.m. in Singapore. Wheat for July delivery gained 0.2 percent to $7.225 a bushel.

Farmers sowed only 5 percent of corn as of April 28, trailing the five-year average pace of 31 percent, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said April 29. About 33 percent of winter wheat was in good or excellent condition, down from 64 percent a year earlier, it said. Wheat yields in southwest Kansas and northwest Oklahoma were estimated at 34.1 bushels an acre yesterday, and crops are about three to four weeks behind normal growth, a survey of 50 fields showed.

“U.S. crop concerns remain significant,” Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), wrote in a report today. “Attention will quickly return to the overall dire situation in the U.S. corn belt, as another cold, wet system is set to stall fieldwork again over the next few days.

Cold temperatures will slow the warm up of soils and further delay spring field work in the North Plains, while a significant freeze is possible in parts of the Central and South Plains, forecaster DTN said in a report yesterday.

Wheat output in Oklahoma, the second-biggest U.S. grower of winter varieties, may tumble 45 percent this year because of drought and freeze damage, the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, said yesterday. Production may drop to 85.5 million bushels from 154.8 million a year earlier, she said.

Soybeans for July delivery advanced as much as 0.4 percent to $13.7875 a bushel before trading at $13.745.

To contact the reporter on this story: Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne at psedgman2@bloomberg.net

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

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