Corn Advances a Second Day as USDA May Cut U.S. Supply Outlook – Bloomberg

Corn futures gained for a second day, extending the steepest climb in almost three weeks, on speculation the U.S. government may pare its crop estimate for the world’s largest grower. Soybeans also increased.

The grain for delivery in December, after the U.S. harvest, advanced as much as 0.9 percent to $5.05 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, after closing 1.9 percent higher yesterday, the biggest rise since June 19. Futures, which traded at $5.04 at 9:33 a.m. in Singapore, slumped to $4.895 on July 5, the lowest level since October 2010.

The corn harvest in the U.S. will probably total 13.983 billion bushels this year, smaller than the 14.005 billion predicted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture last month, according to the average estimate of 20 analysts and trading firms surveyed by Bloomberg. The USDA is due to update its outlook on supply on July 11.

“The December contract has already hit a bottom,” Tetsu Emori, a commodity fund manager at Astmax Asset Management Inc., said by phone from Tokyo today. “If the USDA reduces its supply estimate as hot weather stresses crops, we’re looking at higher prices. Weather conditions are uncertain.”

Soybeans for delivery in November rose as much as 0.9 percent to $12.635 a bushel in Chicago, extending yesterday’s 2 percent climb. They last traded at $12.5875. Soybean meal for December delivery rose 0.9 percent to $371.40 per 2,000 pounds, after yesterday climbing 2.9 percent, the biggest gain for the most-active contract since June 11.

Port Strike

A sailor strike at Argentina’s Timbues/San Lorenzo port is slowing grains and oilseed exports, Guillermo Wade, a port official from Rosario said in a phone interview. Farmers in Argentina, the world’s largest soybean-meal exporter, also went on strike last month, halting sales of grains and livestock to protest government policies including a tax increase in grain and oilseed exports.

China is probably struggling to import soybeans and soybean meal from the U.S. after the Argentine strike,” Emori said. China is the largest consumer of soybeans and the meal used to feed livestock and poultry, while the U.S. is the world’s largest grower and exporter of the oilseed.

Wheat for delivery in September also rose for a second day, adding 0.2 percent to $6.64 a bushel.

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Argentine Farm Groups to Halt Grain, Livestock Trades for 5 Days – Bloomberg

Four Argentine farm associations said their members will suspend grain and livestock trading for five days to protest government agriculture policies.

Farmers will halt sales nationwide from June 15 through June 19 to protest government policies, including tax increases on grain and oilseed exports and currency-exchange restrictions, Ruben Ferrero, president of the Confederation Rural Argentina, said today at a press conference in Buenos Aires.

“We’re tired of the current situation, which is getting worse,” Ferrero said. “The government is indifferent to the agriculture agenda.”

The strike deepens the dispute between farmers and President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s government in a midterm-election year. Four months of farm strikes in 2008 produced food shortages throughout Argentina after Fernandez tried to raise export taxes on corn and soybeans. Dairy products won’t be included in the strike that starts this weekend.

“We want immediate solutions from the president,” Julio Curras, vice president of the Agrarian Federation, said at the same press conference. “This is the first step and we don’t rule out future strikes.”

Argentina is the world’s second-largest corn exporter behind the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The country is also the world’s third-largest soybean grower after the U.S. and Brazil.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pablo Gonzalez in Buenos Aires at pgonzalez49

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3

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