Corn Advances on Concern Dryness to Reduce U.S. Harvest

Corn rose for the second time this week as concern persisted that the U.S. harvest may be smaller than expected by the government because of recent heat and dryness in the Midwest. Soybeans and wheat also climbed.

About a quarter of the U.S. Corn Belt, including sections of Illinois, Missouri and Iowa, will “hold onto dryness concerns” in the next two weeks as scattered rains miss some growing areas, Commodity Weather Group said today in a report. Temperatures next week may top 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius). Topsoil moisture in Illinois was 63 percent short as of May 27, the National Drought Mitigation Center said June 1.

“People are worried about disruption to supply,” Tetsu Emori, a commodity fund manager at Astmax Co., said by phone from Tokyo. “If hot, dry weather persists in the next several weeks, that may cut production in the U.S.”

Corn for July delivery gained 1.2 percent to $5.745 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade by 1:09 p.m. London time. The price is up 3.5 percent this month. Soybeans for November delivery increased 0.9 percent to $12.88 a bushel.

The U.S., the largest corn grower and exporter, may boost output to a record 375.7 million metric tons in the year from Sept. 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted May 10. The agency is scheduled to update its supply forecast June 12.

Wheat for July delivery rose 0.7 percent to $6.175 a bushel in Chicago. In Paris, November-delivery milling wheat was little changed at 205.75 euros ($256.90) a ton on NYSE Liffe after yesterday touching a two-week low.

Russia’s wheat exports may plunge to 16 million tons in the year starting July 1, from 21 million tons a year earlier, as production declines, the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service said in a report posted yesterday. The country was the third-largest wheat exporter in the 2011-12 crop year.

Rains in the next week in the former Soviet Union will ease dry conditions in eastern growing areas, while heat in western parts of the region may stress crops, Commodity Weather Group said.

“The market is very sensitive to production cuts, even export cuts from Russia,” Emori said.

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