Grain and corn futures rise amid US weather concerns and pending agriculture report

Port Tom Polancic

CHICAGO (USA) (Reuters) – Cereal and soybean futures rose on the Chicago Stock Exchange on Tuesday as traders adjusted their positions awaiting a report on US cropping and continued to worry about the risks of unfavorable weather.

* Analysts on average expect the USDA to raise its corn planting estimate by about 3% from March in a report on Wednesday, according to a Reuters poll.

* Soybean farms will increase 1.5% over March estimates.

* However, some operators remain concerned about the possibility that hot or dry weather could harm productivity at a time when crop stocks are tight.

“The problem is that very little rain is expected in dry areas and a lot in really very humid areas,” said Tom Pvitzenmaier, analyst at Summit Commodity brokerage.

* “All of these weather issues are concerning given that the US needs to see near-record corn crop yields.”

* December corn futures, which are the crop to be harvested this fall, were up 6 cents at $5.5325 a bushel at 1505 GMT on the Chicago Board of Trade.

– November soybeans rose 2.5 cents to $13.15 a bushel, while wheat for September rose 3.5 cents to $6.55.

“Hot weather is a real long-term concern,” said Ole Howe, director of advisory services at brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney.

* “We believe the USDA Land Areas and Stocks report may show more acres planted than expected in the US, and some operators would like to add more before the report,” he added.

* The US Department of Agriculture, in a weekly report released on Monday, rated 64% of the US corn crop from good to excellent, one percentage point lower than the previous week and less than analysts’ expectations.

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* In Canada, farmers expanded rapeseed plantings this spring to take advantage of record prices, but drying grasslands threaten to burn crops. (Reporting by Tom Polancic in Chicago, Naveen Thukral in Singapore, and Sybil de la Hamidi in Paris; Editing in Spanish by Javier Lopez de Lleida)

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