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Corn Rises on Speculation That China Will Buy More U.S. Grain

31.05.2010 10:51 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) Corn rose to the highest price in almost two weeks on speculation that China, the worlds second- biggest consumer, may need to import more U.S. grain to reduce record domestic prices. China bought 241,000 metric tons of U.S. corn in the week ended May 20 for delivery by Aug. 31, before this years harvest, while canceling 130,000 tons in purchases for the next marketing year, the U.S. government said today. The Asian nation, which hasnt been a net importer since 1956, has ordered a total of 595,100 tons from the U.S. in the current marketing year for delivery before Sept. 1. «China needs corn after drought damaged their crops last year,» said Tim Hannagan, a grain analyst for PFG Best Inc. in Chicago. «The Chinese purchases are also boosting demand from other buyers worried about competing for U.S. supplies.» Corn futures for July delivery rose 1.75 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $3.7325 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching $3.7375, the highest price for a most-active contract since May 14. Corn, down 12 percent in the past year, has risen 5.5 percent since April 27, the day before the first of the recent sales to China were announced. U.S. exports sales of corn to all countries totaled 1.03 million tons in the week ended May 20, bringing the eight-week total to more than 10.1 million tons, the most since a similar period ending in February 2008, USDA data show. China is allowing private feed and food makers to import as much as 2.8 million tons of corn this year, Zeng Liying, the deputy director of the State Administration of Grain, said earlier this week at a conference in Beijing. The worlds most-populous nation may require «large- scale» imports of U.S. corn if delays in spring planting this year result in a reduced harvest, Fei Zhonghai, an assistant to the general manager at Cofco Ltd., said this week. Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $48.6 billion in 2009, government figures show.

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