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Markets

Corn rises on worry cold could hinder US sowings

  • Corn close to 8-year high hit last week.
  • Concern cold in US may slow corn plantings.
  • Weaker dollar supports grains, soybeans.
Published April 19, 2021
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HAMBURG: Chicago corn futures rose more than 1% on Monday, as cold weather in key growing areas in the United States stoked fear plantings could be hindered with land transferred to soybeans.

Soybeans and wheat also rose with the weaker dollar boosting US export prospects.

Chicago Board of Trade most-active corn had risen 1.5% to $5.94-3/4 a bushel by 1050 GMT, hovering close to eight-year highs of $6.01-1/2 hit on Thursday.

Soybeans rose 0.8% to $14.35 a bushel, wheat rose 0.6% to $6.59 a bushel.

"Corn is being supported today by forecasts of more cold weather in parts of the US Midwest which could slow corn plantings," said Matt Ammermann, StoneX commodity risk manager.

He said that markets had been expecting rapid US corn sowings with questions now being raised about whether the delays would prompt a switch to soybeans.

"But it is still early to talk about serious problems. I think current corn prices are attractive to farmers and if you give farmers only around five days of good weather they can plant a huge area."

US corn continues to look competitive in world markets compared to supplies from rivals Brazil and Ukraine.

In China, corn was trading above wheat prices which could suck in more corn imports to cool the Chinese market, a trader said.

"Wheat is underpinned by the weaker dollar which helps US exports and dryness in the northern US Plains and parts of Canada," Ammermann said. "There is also some background concern about the growing political tension between Russia and Ukraine which could have a dramatic impact on wheat prices."

He noted soybeans were also supported by the weaker dollar, and tight US old crop inventories, while US crushing continued at a brisk rate which, along with any more US exports, could further diminish stocks.

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