Corn Posts Longest Rally in Eight Months on Ethanol Use

Corn futures rose, capping the longest rally in eight months, as demand for grain to make ethanol increased, while rains slowed the harvest in the U.S., the world’s biggest producer. Soybeans fell.

In the week ended Oct. 3, U.S. ethanol production rose 2.3 percent from a week earlier, while inventories declined 0.9 percent, government data showed today. Rain from Arkansas to Pennsylvania will delay harvesting in the next 10 days as drier weather in the western Midwest will firm soils for collecting soybeans, said Dave Marshall, a farm-marketing consultant for Toay Commodity Futures Group LLC.

“Ethanol production improved and some processors are raising bids to get farmers to sell them corn,” Marshall said in a telephone interview from Nashville, Illinois.“Farmers will focus on harvesting soybeans before corn, which is tightening up supplies.”

Corn futures for December delivery gained 0.8 percent to close at $3.4325 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The grain rose 7 percent in six sessions, the longest rally since Jan. 28.

On Oct. 1, corn touched $3.1825, the lowest for a most-active contract since Sept. 22, 2009. Output will rise to a record 14.54 billion bushels, according to a Bloomberg survey before the U.S. Department of Agriculture updates its estimate on Oct. 10. Prices have dropped 19 percent this year.

Soybean futures for November delivery dropped 0.6 percent to $9.35 a bushel. The oilseed has slumped 28 percent this year. U.S. production may rise to a record 3.99 billion bushels, higher than last month’s USDA forecast of 3.913 billion, the Bloomberg survey showed.

Wheat futures for December delivery gained 0.3 percent to $5.0775 a bushel. The price, which touched a three-week high at $5.1175, rose for the sixth straight session, the longest rally since Aug. 6. The grain has dropped 16 percent this year on the outlook for bumper global crops.

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