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Corn Rises to 3-Month High as U.S. Export Sales Beat Estimates

Corn climbed in Chicago to the highest level in more than three months after U.S. export sales exceeded estimates, boosted by Japanese demand for the grain.

Foreign sales of corn were 1.7 million metric tons in the week ended Jan. 30, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today, beating estimates in a Bloomberg News survey of analysts for sales as high as 1.4 million tons. Export sales of wheat for delivery this marketing year were 638,793 tons, compared with estimates of 400,000 to 700,000 tons before the USDA report.

“Export sales were bullish for wheat and corn,” said Kieran Walsh, a grain broker at Aurel BCG in Paris.

Corn for delivery in March gained 0.6 percent to $4.46 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade before a halt in trading at 7:45 a.m. Prices reached $4.4675, the highest for a most-active contract since October, and headed for a sixth straight advance.

Wheat for delivery in March rose 0.3 percent to $5.895 a bushel. Milling wheat for the same delivery month traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris fell 0.1 percent to 193.75 euros ($263.75) a ton.

Japan will lift wheat imports from the U.S. after shipments from Canada arrived late for a second month, the Asian nation’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said.

Soybeans for delivery in March rose 0.9 percent to $13.28 a bushel in Chicago. Weekly export sales of the oilseed were 576,985 tons for shipping in the 2013-14 season, the USDA said, against estimates before the report ranging from 200,000 to 700,000 tons.

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