Corn, soybeans rise again as hot weather persists

AP News
Posted: Jul 20, 2012 4:28 PM
Corn, soybeans rise again as hot weather persists

Prices for corn and soybeans jumped again as forecasts call for more blistering heat in crop-growing regions across the U.S.

Corn for September delivery jumped 16.75 cents to settle $8.245 a bushel, the second straight day of record highs. August soybeans settled at $17.575 a bushel, up 23.75 cents and the third straight record-setting day.

Crop prices have been soaring since late June as hot weather blankets the Midwest and other growing regions.

John Sanow, a commodities analyst at Telvent DTN, says there doesn't appear to be relief in sight for the crops. He said forecasts are calling for scattered chances of rain, but nothing that would have a big impact.

"It's really too late for corn at this point," Sanow said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 64 percent of the contiguous U.S. states has been affected by drought as of Tuesday, up from 37 percent just three months ago. At the beginning of the year, 28 percent of U.S. states excluding Hawaii and Alaska were impacted.

The USDA said in an online post that "searing, triple-digit heat and dry conditions will persist through much of next week" across the central Plains and the middle Mississippi Valley. The agency said that 88 percent of U.S. corn crops and 87 percent of soybeans are in areas being affected by drought.

"With this weather forecast and as dry as it has been and how this drought is expanding and getting into areas now such as South Dakota and Minnesota and North Dakota, it's not a good situation," Sanow said.

"We're looking at some real troubles ahead here, even more than anyone ever anticipated."

Corn for December delivery, which was the most active contract, rose 17.25 cents to finish at $7.9575 per bushel. November soybeans, also the most active, rose 34 cents to $16.8625 per bushel and September wheat rose 8.25 cents to $9.4325 per bushel.

Crude oil fell $1.22 to finish at $91.44 per barrel in New York. Heating oil fell 2.27 cents to $2.9243 per gallon, wholesale gasoline gained 0.41 cents to $2.943 per gallon. Natural gas ended up 8.2 cents at $3.081 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Copper for September delivery fell 8.65 cents to $3.4480 per pound, October platinum fell $8.60 to $1,414.50 and September palladium fell $8.75 at $576.10 an ounce.

August gold increased $2.40 to end at $1,582.80 and September silver gained 8.5 cents to $27.302 per ounce.


AP Business Writer Sandy Shore contributed to this story.