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Corn Futures Called Lower; Soybeans, Wheat May Drop

April 23 (Bloomberg) -- What follows are opening calls for U.S. grain and oilseed markets.

-- Corn futures are called to open 1 cent to 2 cents a bushel lower on the Chicago Board of Trade as rains in the U.S. Midwest boost soil moisture for early crop development after planting accelerated in the past two weeks, said Roy Huckabay, an executive vice president at the Linn Group in Chicago.

-- Soybean futures may open 1 cent to 3 cents lower after farmers in Brazil and Argentina increased sales of newly harvested crops following a jump in prices this week, Huckabay said. Soybean-meal futures may open 50 cents to $1.50 lower per 2,000 pounds and soybean oil may open 0.1 cent to 0.2 cent a pound higher.

-- Wheat futures may open 1 cent to 3 cents a bushel lower on the CBOT, the Kansas City Board of Trade and the Minneapolis Grain Exchange as the dollar’s rally reduces the appeal of U.S. exports, Huckabay said.

-- May options on the CBOT expire today with futures approaching the $10 strike price in soybeans, $3.60 corn options and $5 puts and calls on wheat, Huckabay said.

-- U.S. stocks retreated as disappointing results at Travelers Cos. and Microsoft Corp. overshadowed better-than-estimated earnings at American Express Co. and Xerox Corp. {NXTW NSN L1C0GI6NKMX9 <GO>}

-- European stocks climbed, paring a weekly decline, after Adidas AG raised its earnings forecast, Volvo AB posted an unexpected profit and business confidence in Germany improved. {NXTW NSN L1C0DM1A74E9 <GO>}

-- China may be more likely to import corn should international prices remain lower than domestic levels, the China National Grain & Oils Information Center said. {NXTW NSN L1B8996N9EDE <GO>}

-- China’s top grain administrator said that regional authorities should boost inventories of grain and cooking oil to ensure that supplies and food prices can be stabilized in times of emergency. {NXTW NSN L1B3Z307SXKX <GO>}

-- Rice, sugar-cane and oilseed output in India may increase this year as monsoon rainfall returns to normal after an unexpected drought last year led to record imports of food staples. {NXTW NSN L1BTXJ0UQVI9 <GO>}

-- The United Nations World Food Programme purchased $8.5 million of Russian wheat from Glencore International AG for delivery to Sudan. {NXTW NSN L1BT8607SXKX <GO>}

-- U.S. frozen-pork stockpiles were 14 percent smaller at the end of March than a year earlier, a sign that exports may be improving as domestic supplies shrink. {NXTW NSN L1APAJ1A1I4H <GO>}

-- South Korea halted imports of Japanese hog and cattle products after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, the government said. {NXTW NSN L1BH4W6N9EDK <GO>}

-- Yara International ASA, the largest publicly traded nitrogen-fertilizer maker, said first-quarter profit rose 71 percent after output climbed to full capacity. {NXTW NSN L1BJTL1A74E9 <GO>}

-- Palm-oil futures on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange gained for the second straight day following China’s ban on Argentine soybean oil. {NXTW NSN L1BEUD0YHQ0X <GO>}

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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