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Wheat, Corn Gain for Third Day as U.S. Export Sales Strengthen

Wheat and corn rose for a third day in Chicago on stronger demand for exports from the U.S., the world’s biggest shipper of both grains. Soybeans climbed.

U.S. export sales of corn and soybeans both more than doubled in the week ended Jan. 12 from the prior period, government figures released on Jan. 20 showed. Wheat sales climbed 33 percent.

“The very good export figures for the U.S allow for price consolidation in Chicago and for some optimism among the operators with regards to the real impact of the crisis on commodity demand,” Paris-based farm adviser Agritel wrote in a market report today.

Wheat for March delivery advanced 1.3 percent to $6.1825 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade by 12:22 p.m. Paris time. Milling wheat for March delivery traded on NYSE Liffe in the French capital rose 1.4 percent to 201.25 euros ($261.52) a metric ton.

“We did see a relatively solid result in terms of U.S. export sales,” Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said by phone from Sydney. “That is raising hopes out there that demand for U.S. grains and oilseeds may prove a little stronger in the first quarter.”

Corn for March delivery gained 1.3 percent to $6.195 a bushel. Soybeans for March delivery increased 1.4 percent to $12.035 a bushel.

Areas of Argentina may get as much as 2.5 inches of rain by today, while storms might bring as much as 1 inch to parts of Brazil, forecaster Telvent DTN said in a report on Jan. 20.

“The market continues to watch South American weather,” Mathews said. “Conditions do look as though they are quite conducive to crop development.”

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