Soft Commodities Price Watch: Corn Gains as U.S. Crop Prospects Stay in Focus

By: Deyana Ivanova
Deyana Ivanova
Deyana has a media background as a Journalism graduate. With a general interest in the financial markets and global… read more.
on Jul 16, 2013 Tuesday, July 16th: Grain futures were broadly higher today, with the corn price rising by more than one percent as investors continued to focus on U.S. crop prospects, which have deteriorated amid warm weather and slower-than-average pace of maturing of the plants.

On the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) corn futures for September delivery traded at $5.4388 a bushel, up 1.4 percent on the day. The contract rose by as much as 1.6 percent earlier in the day to hit a session high of $5.4538 a bushel.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) yesterday said that 66 percent of corn crops in the main growing areas in the country were rated good or excellent as of July 14, down from 68 percent that received the top ratings a week earlier. Nearly nine percent of the corn crop was in ‘poor’ to ‘very poor’ condition, up from the eight percent recorded the preceding week.

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Indications of improving demand for U.S. supplies also contributed to gains after the USDA said U.S. farmers sold 120,000 metric tonnes of corn to unknown destinations for delivery in the year that starts September 1.
Elsewhere on the CBOT, the wheat price for September delivery traded at $6.7488 a bushel, up 0.8 percent on the day. The September contract rose by as much as 1.1 percent earlier in the session to hit a daily high of $6.7688 a bushel. According to the USDA, nearly 67 percent of the winter-wheat crop was harvested as of last week, compared to 81 percent harvested in the same week a year earlier and below the five-year average of 71 percent for this time of year.

Soybeans futures were also up today. The August contract traded at $14.6438 a bushel, up 0.7 percent on the day, after reaching a session high of $14.6600 a bushel. The USDA said yesterday that approximately 26 percent of the U.S. soy crop bloomed as of last week, below the 63 percent recorded in the same week a year earlier. The weekly report also showed that nearly 65 percent of the soy crop was in ‘good’ to ‘excellent’ condition as of last week, down from 67 percent in the preceding week.

**Coffee at Seven-Week High**
!m[Coffee Hits Seven-Week High on Slide in Vietnam Exports and Strong Brazilian Real](/uploads/story/4044/thumbs/pic1_inline.jpg)
Robusta coffee reached a seven-week high today as sliding exports from leading grower Vietnam compounded rising local prices and low stockpiles in Europe. The September contract on the NYSE Liffe in London traded 1.2 percent higher at $1,927 a tonne, after touching $1,928 a tonne, the highest since May 28.

In New York, Arabica coffee traded at a seven-week high, as market players monitored movements in the Brazilian real. Brazil is the world’s largest producer and exporter of Arabica coffee and when its currency strengthens, farmers tend to ship less beans, thus boosting the price of the commodity.
On the ICE Futures U.S. Exchange, the Arabica coffee price for September delivery was at $1.2538 a pound today, up 1.8 percent on the day. The contract rose by as much as two percent earlier in the day to hit a session high of $1.2563 a pound, the strongest level since June 12.
Elsewhere, cocoa for delivery in September gained one percent to £1,561 pounds a tonne in London. The July contract, which expires today, was at £1,531. Cocoa for delivery in September advanced 1.3 percent to $2,249 a tonne in New York.
White, or refined, sugar for delivery in October fell 0.4 percent to $461.80 a tonne on the NYSE Liffe. The August contract, expiring today, was at $479.80. Raw sugar for delivery in October slid 0.2 percent to $0.1612 a pound on ICE.

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