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Grains, Soy Climb as Cold Weather Threatens North America Crops

April 12 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat rose the most in more than a week as frigid weather in North America raised the risk of damage to crops emerging from dormancy and delays in spring planting. Corn and soybeans also advanced.

Freezing temperatures across the central and southern Great Plains of the U.S. may have hurt developing winter-wheat crops, and the region may see another cold spell next week, QT Weather said in a report today. Snow next week will expand the snow pack in the Canadian Prairies that was the second largest in 47 years, the forecaster said. That’s increasing the risk of flooding and spring-planting delays in northern U.S. states.

“U.S. crops were hurt, and the market is pricing in reduced production,” Gregg Hunt, a market analyst and broker at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “The cold, snowy weather across Canada and the northern U.S. could lead to severe planting delays,” reducing yield potential, Hunt said.

Wheat futures for delivery in July jumped 2.3 percent to close at $7.195 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest gain since April 3. The most-active contract gained 2.9 percent for the week, the most in four weeks. In Paris, milling wheat for delivery in November increased 0.6 percent to 215 euros ($281.34) a metric ton on NYSE Liffe.

In Russia, spring-grain sowing was delayed in the Central, Volga and Ural regions by cold weather and abundant snow, the Agriculture Ministry said April 9. Temperatures fell below freezing this week in parts of Oklahoma, the largest U.S. winter-wheat grower after Kansas, and some areas had ice storms, the National Weather Service said. The government will release its first estimate of the crop on May 10.

Corn, Soybeans

Corn and soybean rallied on signs of weather delays for planting in China and the U.S., the two biggest consumers of the crops, Hunt said.

Corn sowing in China, the world’s second-largest consumer, was delayed for at least 10 days by excessive snow, and some farmers may switch to soybeans, Grain.gov.cn said in an e-mailed report. In the U.S., cold, wet weather the next 10 days will delay the start of Midwest planting, QT Weather said. Later planted crops will reproduce during the hottest days of July and August.

Corn futures for delivery in July rose 1.2 percent to $6.4125 a bushel in Chicago, capping a 3.8 percent weekly gain for the contract. May futures rallied 4.7 percent for the week, settling at $6.585.

Soybean futures for July delivery climbed 0.8 percent to $13.7925 a bushel, leaving the contract up 2.6 percent this week. U.S. exporters reported sales of 110,000 tons of soybeans for delivery after Sept. 1 to unknown destinations, the government said today.

To contact the reporters on this story: Whitney McFerron in London at wmcferron1@bloomberg.net; Jeff Wilson in Chicago at jwilson29@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net; Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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