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Corn Climbs on Signs of Chinese Demand; Wheat Advances

Corn rose for the first time in three days on signs of increased Chinese demand for U.S. supplies. Wheat also gained while soybeans dropped.

U.S. exporters sold 682,500 metric tons of corn, including 262,500 tons to China and 420,000 tons for unknown destinations, the Department of Agriculture said yesterday. The sale was the third in as many days, bringing total purchases this week to 1.28 million tons. U.S. exporters sold 826,213 tons of corn the week ended April 19, nearly triple the amount sold a week earlier, the USDA said today.

“Support is coming from confirmation of the sales that came through yesterday from China,” Christopher Gadd, an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd., said by phone from London.

Corn for July delivery rose 0.6 percent to $6.0475 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade by 1:14 p.m. in London. Futures fell 1.9 percent in the previous two days after the U.S. reported the first case of mad-cow disease in six years, raising speculation that feed use may drop.

China may have purchased 2 million tons of new-crop U.S. corn since last Thursday that will be delivered in the 2012-2013 marketing year, state-owned researcher said today, without saying where it got the information.

Soybeans for July delivery dropped 0.1 percent to $14.745 a bushel in Chicago. Yesterday, the price touched $14.9675, the highest since July 18, 2008. Exporters sold 165,000 tons of soybeans to unknown buyers on April 23, according to the USDA.

Soybeans rallied “on the back of aggressive buying from China and reduced crop prospects from South America,” which has suffered from drought and freeze this year, INTL FCStone risk management consultants Rory Deverell and Jaime Miralles said in a report.

Wheat for July delivery rose 0.6 percent to $6.30 a bushel in Chicago. In Paris, November-delivery milling wheat increased 0.5 percent to 201 euros ($265.62) a ton.

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