Corn, Soybeans Rise on Hot-Weather Outlook, Crop Erosion

Corn and soybean futures rose the most in a week on speculation that hot, dry weather in the next six to 10 days will erode U.S. crop conditions that unexpectedly deteriorated last week. Wheat settled unchanged.

Dry conditions will cover most growing areas, according to MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Last year, the U.S. was the world’s biggest exporter of soybeans and corn. About 66 percent of the grain was rated good or excellent as of July 14, down from 68 percent a week earlier, and 65 percent of the oilseed crop got the top ratings, down two percentage points, government data showed yesterday.

“We’re starting to get into a time period where pollination is going to start, so that’s why the weather is critical” for corn, Larry Glenn, an analyst at Frontier Ag in Quinter, Kansas, said in a telephone interview. “We’re starting to build in some weather premium.”

Corn futures for December delivery rose 1.4 percent to settle at $5.1075 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soybeans futures for November delivery advanced 1.8 percent to $12.8625 a bushel. Gains by both crop contracts were their biggest since July 9.

Corn is the largest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, hay and wheat, government data show.

Last week, 16 percent of corn reached the silking stage, critical for determining yields, compared with 35 percent on average in the past five years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday.

Wheat futures for September delivery was unchanged at $6.695 a bushel, after gaining as much as 1.8 percent.

About 70 percent of the U.S. spring-wheat crop in good or excellent condition as of July 14, down from 72 percent a week earlier, government data show. About 67 percent of winter crops were harvested, compared with 81 percent a year earlier.