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Corn, Soy, Wheat Called Higher as Weather May Cut Yields

May 17 (Bloomberg) -- What follows are opening calls for U.S. grain and oilseed markets.

-- Corn futures are called to open up 5 cents to 6 cents a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on speculation that yields will decline as wet weather delays U.S. planting, said Jim Gerlach, the president of A/C Trading Inc. in Fowler, Indiana.

-- Soybean futures may open 5 cents to 6 cents a bushel higher in Chicago on the slow pace of sowing in the U.S., Gerlach said. Soybean-oil futures are expected to open 0.2 cent a pound higher, and soybean-meal futures may open up $1 per 2,000 pounds, he said.

-- Wheat futures may open 1 cent a bushel higher on the CBOT, the Kansas City Board of Trade and the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, as rain hampers spring seeding in Canada and the northern U.S., while drought hurts crops in the southern Great Plains, Gerlach said.

-- U.S. stocks fell, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lower a third day, after Hewlett-Packard Co. lowered its profit forecast and housing starts unexpectedly fell in April, damping optimism about the economy. {NSN LLCDQR0YHQ0Z <GO>}

-- Industrial production in the U.S. unexpectedly stalled in April, reflecting a drop in automobile output after supplies of parts were disrupted by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. {NSN LLCDSQ1A1I4H <GO>}

-- Housings starts in the U.S. unexpectedly fell in April as homebuilders continued to struggle almost two years into an economic recovery. {NSN LLCE3S0YHQ0X <GO>}

-- Global food prices are set to extend gains as production struggles to keep pace with demand, said Rabobank Groep and Armajaro Trading Ltd., potentially pushing up costs for Tyson Foods Inc. and Kellogg Co. {NSN LLBWTW07SXKX <GO>}

-- U.S. corn production may rise 3 percent to 4 percent as prices that have nearly doubled in the past year make the grain more profitable than soybeans, Societe Generale said in a report today. Corn will be in surplus while soybeans will be in a deficit, according to the report. {NSN LLBXWD6JTSEA <GO>}

-- Mississippi River water pouring through 11 gates on Louisiana’s Morganza floodway has greatly reduced the risk of flooding to oil refineries that account for about 14 percent of U.S. capacity. {NSN LLB3F60UQVI9 <GO>}

-- Wheat crops in the U.S. Great Plains are showing signs that production may plunge even more than the government forecast last week as hot weather and a lack of rain erode plant quality and force farmers to harvest early. {NSN LLBAK06JTSEF <GO>}

-- China will encourage the direct trade of soybean and other agricultural products between Chinese and Brazilian companies, Chen Deming, the commerce minister, said in a statement posted on the ministry’s website today. {NSN LLBW666K50Y3 <GO>}

-- China failed to sell 300,000 metric tons of soybeans offered in auctions from the country’s temporary reserves today, industry website Cnyouzhi.com reported. {NSN LLBFSD6KLVR4 <GO>}

-- Drought conditions in China affected 20.19 million mu (1.35 million hectares) of crops as of May 15, the official Xinhua News Agency reported today, citing the nation’s drought-relief headquarters. {NSN LLB9KM6JIJUQ <GO>}

-- China National Development and Reform Commission asked local authorities to lower the costs for vegetable production and operations, and protect the interests of farmers, Xinhua News Agency reported today, citing a notice from the commission. {NSN LLCAVL6JIJUR <GO>}

-- Russian farmers planted 2.8 million hectares with spring grains, or 21 percent less than in 2010, the Federal State Statistics Service, also known as Rosstat, said in an e-mailed report today. {NSN LLBZ5K6JIJV3 <GO>}

-- Russian farmers accelerated spring grain sowing, exceeding last year’s plantings by 6 percent as of May 16, Interfax reported. {NSN LLBWO56JIJUO <GO>}

-- Russian fourth-grade milling wheat rose 1.4 percent to 5,550 rubles ($197) a metric ton last week, leading price increases among grains, researcher SovEcon said. {NSN LLC8FC1A74E9 <GO>}

-- France’s soft-wheat harvest will drop below 35 million metric tons, the smallest crop in at least four years, as a drought devastates yields, farm adviser Offre et Demande Agricole said. {NSN LLBZR60D9L35 <GO>}

-- The U.K. got about 61 percent of its normal rainfall in the last three months and low river levels are starting to affect farms that rely on them for irrigation, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said. {NSN LLBR366TTDS5 <GO>}

-- The U.K. exported 100,673 metric tons of wheat in March and 57,033 tons of barley, the Home-Grown Cereals Authority said in a report today. {NSN LLC9CZ6JTSE9 <GO>}

-- Ukraine’s grain-harvest forecast was lowered by 0.5 percent to 44.5 million metric tons by UkrAgroConsult after farmers planted less barley and more corn. {NSN LLCD7W6KLVRC <GO>}

-- Poland will ask the European Union to increase the EU wheat-intervention price and boost the sugar-production quota to stabilize food prices in the bloc and prevent speculation, Polish Farm Minister Marek Sawicki said. {NSN LLCD0C6TTDSZ <GO>}

-- Bulgaria expects to harvest 3.9 million metric tons of wheat this year, as the area sown with the crop is less than in 2010. {NSN LLC2HN6KLVRC <GO>}

-- Rains in Colombia have damaged 200,000 hectares (494,211 acres) of crops and caused the flooding of 1 million more, El Tiempo newspaper said, citing Agriculture Minister Juan Camilo Restrepo. {NSN LLCC7H1A1I4I <GO>}

-- South Africa’s corn harvest will fall to 11.5 million metric tons, down 14 percent from a year earlier, as wet weather may delay collection and because growers planted fewer acres, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said in a report dated today. {NSN LLCAKL6JTSEA <GO>}

-- South Africa exported 9,539 metric tons of yellow corn to South Korea last week, according to data published on the website of the South African Grain Information Service today. {NSN LLC40J6S972B <GO>}

-- Bangladesh plans to import 30,000 metric tons of sugar to build stockpiles and to meet domestic demand ahead of the Ramadan festival, Commerce Minister Faruk Khan said today. The ministry has also proposed overseas purchase of 30,000 tons of soybean oil through the state-run Trading Corp. of Bangladesh. {NSN LLCBSV6S9729 <GO>}

-- Balrampur Chini Mills Ltd. expects ethanol prices in India may climb to 30 to 35 rupees a liter starting July from 27 rupees at present, Managing Director Vivek Saraogi said in a conference call today. {NSN LLBWKV6S972G <GO>}

-- Canola production in Australia, the third-biggest exporter, may jump 14 percent to the highest in a decade, according to an industry group. {NSN LLBHXD6KLVRF <GO>}

-- Rice production in the Philippines, the world’s biggest buyer last year, may grow by 32 percent in the third quarter, supporting the government in its goal to substantially cut imports this year. {NSN LLBVC76JIJUS <GO>}

-- Rice shipments from Vietnam, the world’s second-largest exporter, jumped 20 percent this year through May 12 to 2.75 million metric tons, the government said. {NSN LLBK6U07SXKX <GO>}

To contact the reporter on this story: Whitney McFerron in Chicago at wmcferron1@bloomberg.net

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

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