Corn advanced the highest in almost two years and soybeans traded at a 15-month high on concern flooding may damage crops in the U.S., the world’s largest exporter of both, and freezing weather in China.
Corn for December delivery gained as much as 1 percent to $5.27 a bushel, the highest price for the most-active contract in Chicago since Sept. 29, 2008. November-delivery soybeans jumped as much as 1.6 percent to $11.4375 a bushel, the highest level for the most-active contract since June 5, 2009.
Western parts of the Midwest face further harvest delays this week as fields are very wet, and some areas remain flooded, Telvent DTN Inc. said in a forecast Sept. 24. Northeast China will likely have freezing conditions, after rain showers early this week, potentially hurting maturing soybean and corn crops, DTN said.
“There are so many concerns in the market right now,” Tetsu Emori, a commodity fund manager at Astmax Co. Ltd. in Tokyo, said by phone today. “That’s what’s attracting fresh investment into the commodity market. Hedge funds are seeing good trends in prices.”
As much as 40 percent of the crop in Minnesota, the fourth largest U.S. corn grower, may suffer reduced yields, Bob Zelenka, the executive director of the state’s Feed and Grain Association in St. Paul said last week.
Hedge-fund managers and other large speculators increased their net-long positions in Chicago corn futures in the week ended Sept. 21 to the highest since March 1996, according to U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data.
Speculative long positions, or bets prices will rise, outnumbered short positions by 465,714 contracts on the Chicago Board of Trade, the Washington-based commission said in its Commitments of Traders report. Net-long positions rose by 21,625 contracts, or 5 percent, from a week earlier.
Net-long positions in soybeans rose 16,681 contracts, or 11 percent to 163,087 in the week ended Sept. 21, the most since May 1997.
Soybean planting in Brazil’s Mato Grosso and Goias areas will likely be delayed until they get enough rain to replenish soil moisture, DTN said Sept. 24.
December-delivery wheat gained as much as 1.4 percent to $7.2975 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, extending its 3.3 percent surge in the previous session.
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