Corn Futures Gain as U.S. Exports Jump; Wheat Rebounds

Corn futures rose for the fifth time in six sessions on signs of increasing demand for shipments from the U.S., the world’s biggest producer. Wheat and soybean prices also advanced.

Exporters sold 1.48 million metric tons of corn in the week ended Dec. 19, up 79 percent from a week earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today. This year, Brazil is the top shipper, followed by Argentina and the U.S., USDA estimates show.

“We are selling corn,” Lawrence Kane, a senior market adviser at Stewart-Peterson Group, said in a telephone interview from Yates City, Illinois. “We are again competitive in the international markets.”

Corn futures for March delivery rose 0.3 percent to settle at $4.275 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The grain headed for the first monthly gain since August.

Soybean futures for March delivery climbed 0.7 percent to $13.1375 a bushel. The oilseed has dropped 6.8 percent this year.

Wheat futures for March delivery gained 0.5 percent to $6.09 a bushel. Earlier, the price fell as much as 0.4 percent. Yesterday, the grain touched $6.0075, the lowest for a most-active contract since May 2012.

This year, corn has tumbled 39 percent, heading for a record drop and the biggest decline among 24 raw materials in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index. Wheat has slumped 22 percent.

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

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