Corn rises on worries about wet weather in Midwest

AP News
Posted: May 26, 2011 4:35 PM
Corn rises on worries about wet weather in Midwest

Corn prices rose for a second day Thursday on concerns that heavy rains could hurt this year's harvest.

Corn rose 0.4 percent, while wheat rose 2.3 percent and soybeans rose 0.6 percent. Wet weather in parts of the Midwest has made it difficult for farmers to plant corn, even as demand remains high around the globe. That has sent corn prices soaring. Corn has risen nearly 19 percent this year. Wheat is up 2 percent and soybeans are down 1 percent for the year.

Analysts expect the weather to improve slightly next week, which could push corn prices lower. "It does look like we're finally going to dry out a little bit," said Jack Scoville, vice president of the Price Futures Group. "Goodness knows we could use it."

In grains for July delivery, corn rose 3.25 cents to settle at $7.455 a bushel, wheat gained 18 cents to $8.145 a bushel and soybeans rose 7.75 cents to $13.8475 a bushel.

Other commodities were mixed after two reports suggested that the U.S. economic recovery is slowing.

The Commerce Department reported that the economy grew at an annual rate of 1.8 percent in the first quarter. That was lower than many economists expected. Higher prices for gasoline and weak consumer spending have held back the economy.

The Labor Department also said more people applied for unemployment benefits last week.

The reports raised concerns about demand for raw materials. Oil for July delivery fell $1.09, or 1.1 percent, to $100.23 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Natural gas for July delivery fell 6.3 cents to $4.36 per 1,000 cubic feet. Heating oil rose 0.11 cents to settle at $2.9934 per gallon.

Metals prices were mixed. Gold for June delivery fell $3.90 to $1,522.80 an ounce. Palladium rose $9.85 to settle at $757.20 an ounce. Silver fell 31.2 cents to $37.33 an ounce. Copper gained 0.4 cents to settle at $4.111 a pound.