June 4, 2010

CBOT wheat, corn futures advance on biofuels demand speculation

US wheat futures advanced for the first time in five sessions and corn futures rose on speculation stricter US regulations on oil exploration may increase demand for biofuels.
Wheat for July delivery climbed 0.2% to US$4.425 a bushel at 9:33 a.m. in Singapore, trimming the weekly loss to 3.3%. Corn gained 0.2% to US$3.5025 a bushel, paring the weekly decline to 2.4%.
The US is pulling back exploration plans and requiring oil and gas producers seeking to drill in the Gulf of Mexico to resubmit plans to ensure that new safety standards and risk considerations are incorporated, Bob Abbey, acting director of the Minerals Management Service said.
''The Gulf spill should see the production of cleaner fuels accelerate,'' Jonathan Barratt, managing director at Commodity Broking Services Pty said. Increased biofuel demand will support corn, used in ethanol production, and soy, used to make biodiesel, he said. Wheat, used to replace corn in animal feeds, will also be supported, he said.
Higher exports and ethanol production may prompt the USDA to pare its estimate for corn inventory in the US, the largest exporter, to 1.698 billion bushels before this year's harvest, from an earlier outlook of 1.738 billion bushels, Joe Victor, vice-president at farm-market adviser Allendale Inc. said. The inventory may be at 1.768 billion bushels next year, compared with USDA's estimate of 1.818 billion bushels, he said.
The soy inventory estimate for the US may be lowered to 179 million bushels before the harvest, from an earlier forecast of 190 million bushels, Victor said. The inventory may be at 349 million bushels next year, compared with USDA's earlier estimate of 366 million bushels, he said. The USDA will release its latest outlook on June 10 in Washington D.C.

Soy for July delivery fell 0.3% to US$9.5225 a bushel, trimming the weekly gain to 1.6%.