Corn surges on concern weather will delay planting

AP News
Posted: Apr 29, 2013 4:40 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Corn futures surged on concern that wet, cold weather in the Plains region will delay planting and reduce harvests.

July corn rose 40 cents, or 6.5 percent, to $6.5975 a bushel. That's the biggest one-day gain since June 25, when last year's drought was pushing up prices.

The price of corn plunged at the end of March after the government said that it expected farmers to plant the biggest crop in almost 80 years. Corn also rose after the government said inventories were higher than analysts had expected. The grain is now regaining some of those losses.

"The very cold, damp and wet spring is certainly interfering with planting," said Sterling Smith, a commodities strategist at Citigroup. "That is making the market more than a little nervous."

Wheat and soybean futures also rose.

July wheat rose 24 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $7.1650 and soybeans for the same month climbed 27.75 cents, or 2 percent, to $14.0875.

Metals prices rose, led by palladium and platinum.

Palladium for June delivery gained $17.25, or 2.5 percent, to $699.20 an ounce. Platinum for July rose $30.90, or 2.1 percent, to $1,507.40.

Copper for July delivery rose 4.05 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $3.2265 a pound. Gold for June delivery rose $13.80, or 0.9 percent, to $1,467.40 an ounce. July silver climbed 37.80 cents to $24.166 an ounce.

Metals are recovering some of the losses they sustained after slowing Chinese economic growth prompted prices to plunge April 15. Gold was among the biggest decliners that day, losing $140 an ounce.

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In energy trading, the price of oil rose above $94 a barrel Monday after positive U.S. economic data boosted the outlook for demand. The U.S. government said Americans spent more in March as their incomes went up. Also, pending home sales hit a three-year high.

Benchmark crude for June delivery rose $1.50 to $94.50 a barrel in New York.

Wholesale gasoline was little changed at $2.8220 a gallon. Heating oil was unchanged at $2.8668 a gallon. Natural gas rose 16.90 cents to $4.3920 per 1,000 cubic feet.