Corn Set for First Monthly Gain Since August as U.S. Sales Climb

Corn traded near the highest in more than two weeks as it headed for the first monthly gain since August after exports from the U.S., the top grower, climbed.

The contract for March delivery traded at $4.33 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade at 11:19 a.m in Singapore from $4.335 yesterday when prices touched $4.345, the highest since Jan. 13. Prices are set to gain 0.8 percent this week, capping a 2.6 percent increase this month.

Export sales of corn in the week ended Jan. 23 more than doubled to 1.9 million metric tons from 693,277 tons a week earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday. Corn tumbled 40 percent last year as U.S. farmers harvested a record crop, pushing global production to an all-time high.

Corn gained “on the back of stronger-than-expected export demand,” Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, wrote in a note today. U.S. export sales surged to well above “even the highest guesses,” he said.

Wheat for March delivery advanced 0.2 percent to $5.5475 a bushel, set to drop 1.9 percent this week and slump 8.3 percent in January. Soybeans for delivery in March gained 0.1 percent to $12.765 a bushel, set for a second monthly decline.

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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