CHICAGO: US corn futures rose on Monday, flirting with multi-year highs set last week, as forecasts for frosty weather and precipitation raised concerns about the pace of planting and germination, analysts said. Soyabeans followed corn higher while wheat was choppy, turning lower at times on profit-taking after reaching a six-week top. A weaker dollar lent support, theoretically making US grains more competitive globally.
As of 1:10 p.m. CDT (1810 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade May corn was up 6-1/4 cents at $5.91-3/4 per bushel, hovering near last week's high of $6.01-1/2, the highest on a continuous chart of the most-active corn contract since June 2013. CBOT December corn, representing the 2021 crop, set a life-of-contract high at $5.21-3/4.
CBOT May soyabeans were up 18-1/4 cents at $14.51-1/2 a bushel. Corn rose as traders focused on US crop weather, with sub-freezing temperatures expected across most of the Plains and the Midwest this week along with some snow and rain. Meanwhile, dry conditions persist in the northern Plains.
"There is enough concern in here, with Chinese (corn) imports being what they are, to keep the corn market fairly well bid right now," said Sterling Smith, director of agricultural research with crop insurer AgriSompo North America. Ahead of the US Department of Agriculture's weekly crop progress report due later on Monday, analysts surveyed by Reuters on average expect the government to show that US farmers planted 9% of their corn and 3% of soyabeans by Sunday. CBOT May wheat was up 1/4 cent at $6.52-3/4 a bushel, paring gains after reaching $6.60-3/4, its highest since March 8.
Wheat futures drew support after the USDA reported export inspections of US wheat at 613,595 tonnes, topping trader expectations in the range of 250,000 to 550,000 tonnes.