Grain futures rise; Corn climbs to 7-day high on U.S. crop outlook

A A A - " U.S. grain futures were higher on Monday, with corn prices rising to a seven-day high after the U.S. Department of Agriculture projected a smaller harvest this autumn than analysts had expected.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, corn futures for December delivery traded at USD4.3163 a bushel, up 1%. Corn prices rose to USD4.3200 a bushel earlier, the highest since October 31.

The December corn contract settled 1.49% higher on Friday to end at USD4.2660 a bushel.

The USDA said Friday that the U.S. corn crop will total 13.989 billion bushels in the 2013 marketing season, compared to expectations for 14.029 billion bushels.

U.S. corn stockpiles are expected to total 1.887 billion bushels in the crop year ending August 31, significantly below estimates of 2.056 billion bushels.

The export forecast was increased to 1.4 billion bushels, up 14% from a previous estimate, as global importers looked to take advantage of lower prices.

Corn prices have been on a downward trend in recent months amid expectations this year's corn harvest in the U.S. will be the largest on record.

Prices of the grain slumped to a four-year low of USD4.1540 a bushel on November 8.

Elsewhere on the CBOT, soybeans futures for January delivery traded at USD12.9638 a bushel, up 0.1%. Prices of the oilseed traded in a range between USD12.9038 a bushel, the daily low and a session high of USD12.9760 a bushel, which is the strongest level since October 25.

The January soy contract ended up 2.33% higher on Friday to settle at USD12.9600 a bushel.

Prices of the oilseed rallied on Friday after the USDA estimated that domestic stockpiles next year would be lower than previously expected, citing strong export demand for the oilseeds.

U.S. soybean stockpiles before next year's harvest were forecast at 170 million bushels, below expectations for 183.1 million bushels.

The USDA raised its forecast for soybean exports in the current crop year to 1.45 billion bushels from a previous estimate of 1.37 billion bushels.

Global ending stocks of the oilseed were projected at 70.23 million tonnes, significantly below expectations for 72.4 million tonnes.

Meanwhile, wheat for December delivery traded at USD6.5388 a bushel, up 0.55%. Wheat prices held in a range between USD6.4913 a bushel, the daily low and a session high of USD6.5438 a bushel.

The December contract slumped to USD6.4400 a bushel on Friday, the lowest since September 20, before settling at USD6.4960 a bushel, down 0.5%.

The USDA said that U.S. wheat stockpiles at the end of the current marketing year will be 565 million bushels, above expectations for 527 million bushels.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, government figures show. Wheat was fourth, behind hay. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.
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