Weather Lifts Corn and Wheat, Soybeans End Lower

Weather worries lifted futures for corn and wheat markets Tuesday with rain expected to pound the Midwest corn belt during a key time in the planting season.

The U.S. Northern Plains wheat belt saw a wintry mix yesterday in eastern North Dakota and northern Minnesota and, over the next five days, showers are expected in Minnesota, South Dakota and central Montana that will linger into Thursday and Friday before mixing with snow in northern Minnesota and western South Dakota, according to MDA Weather Services.

"Moisture will remain abundant in southern and western areas. However, cool conditions are slowing germination, and the active precipitation is slowing planting," the firm said.

The news boosted futures for May spring wheat, which rose 2.4% to $5.33 a bushel and CME wheat for May jumped 1.6% to $4.08 a bushel.

Meanwhile, May corn rose 1.6% after concerns about coming planting delays across the corn belt due to rain outweighed news that the corn crop is 17% planted, near the five year average for this time of year at 18%. Traders had thought that recent wet weather would have delayed more farmers who are actively seeding their farms to take advantage of dry weather today and yesterday.

"Many farms can plant 1,500 acres in a day. If you give them a six to eight day window, half the crop can be planted. But in the next couple of weeks you're not seeing a complete stretch," said Joel Karlin, an economist at grain miller Western Milling in Goshen, Calif.

Corn farmer prefer to get crops in early to avoid summer heat in some areas and early frosts in others but rain is now expected to continue later this week and into next week. The idea that planting could be delayed also outweighed a report from China that showed a 99% drop year-over-year in imports of corn last month.

Soybean futures dropped on the idea that farmers with the option to switch to soybeans, only 6% of the way through their planting season, might decide to add soybean acres where they'd planned to grow wheat, said Jack Scoville, vice president at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

Soybeans for May lost 0.7% to end at $9.54 a bushel.

Write to Julie Wernau at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 25, 2017 15:27 ET (19:27 GMT)