Corn, Soy Rise on South American Weather Concerns; Wheat Falls

Corn futures rose for the first time in four sessions and soybeans climbed on speculation that hot, dry weather in South America may threaten yields. Wheat extended a slump to the lowest in 18 months.

Temperatures as much as 15 degrees Fahrenheit above normal in the next 10 days will aid planting in Argentina at the expense of diminishing soil moisture for crop development, T-Storm Weather LLC said in a report. Southern Brazil and Paraguay were expected to be warmer and drier than usual through Dec. 26.

“People are focused on the hot, dry forecasts,” Ron Mortensen, the president of Advantage Ag Strategies Ltd. in Fort Dodge, Iowa, said in a telephone interview. “Adverse weather will have to continue into January to have significant impact on yields.”

Corn futures for March delivery rose 0.8 percent to close at $4.2675 a bushel at 1:15 p.m on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price dropped 3.6 percent in the previous three sessions. The grain has tumbled 39 percent this year, heading for a record annual decline, as U.S. output rose to an all-time high.

The U.S. is the world’s top exporter, followed by Brazil and Argentina.

November planting in Argentina was delayed by rain, and as much as three-quarters of the crop may be stunted next month by dry weather, Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, said in a report.

Soybean futures for March delivery rose 0.7 percent to $13.3475 a bushel. The price climbed for the third straight session, the longest rally in three weeks.

Brazilian farmers have almost finished oilseed planting, according to AgRural, a research company. Corn seeding in Argentina was 55 percent completed last week, up from 47 percent a week earlier, and 66 percent of the soybean crop was sown, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Dec. 12.

Wheat futures for March delivery fell 0.3 percent to $6.1975 a bushel. Earlier, the price touched $6.1875, the lowest for a most-active contract since June 12, 2012, amid forecasts for record-high global output.

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