Chicago corn futures rose higher on Tuesday to clinch an eight-day peak following the latest report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirming that export demand for the grain had soared over the week. The weekly USDA report showed corn export inspections of 2.204 million tonnes, up from 1.673 million tonnes in the prior week. The numbers, according to analysts, was way above expectations, which ranged from 1.2 million to 1.9 million tonnes
The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) gained 0.1 per cent to $5.50-1/4 a bushel, near the session high of $5.52-1/2 a bushel – the highest since March 8.
After experiencing weeks of sluggish corn export sales, dealers had raised doubts over accelerated buying by China, the world’s top consumer. However, the USDA on Tuesday, confirmed that US corn sales to China totalled 1.156 million tonnes, the highest since January. Spurred by the report and the high level talks about the future of grain trade between China and the United States scheduled to hold later this week in Alaska, dealers are anticipating accelerated buying in the following weeks.
Ted Seifried, chief market strategist at Zaner Group, a Chicago-based futures and commodities firm expressed optimism of higher sales in the coming days.
Corn dealers are also monitoring weather in South America, most especially Brazil and Argentina, where unfavourable weather occasioned by periods of dryness and excessive rains have hindered field work. The weather conditions, analysts said, have lifted hopes for additional US export sales.