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Evening markets: corn leads August crop rally

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The first day of August proved to be a memorable one for food commodities, with corn jumping 6% at one stage and other commodities firm.

A strong backdrop helped, with the dollar weaker - making US exports, including grains – appear cheaper and New York shares hitting their highest levels of 2009.

Oil did its bit too. New York crude for September was 3.0% higher at $71.56 a barrel at 17:00 GMT, a spur for any crop used in making biofuels.

Weather factor

Corn is one of those. And it had other bullish factors going for it too, including concerns that the weather, for so long supportive of a bumper crop, may be too dry for ideal yields.

"The question is what happens next week - will hotter and drier weather in the midwest at that time persist or only last a few days?" Vic Lespinasse at said.

"If hot and dry weather is short lived, it is bearish for prices. But if it lasts longer, it would quickly become a bullish market influence.

"For now, the market is taking the bullish view, one of the reasons prices are so much higher today.

Export help

Another highlight for corn was better-than-expected US export inspections of 47.3 million bushels, the latest in a series of strong trade numbers for the crop.

August corn stood 5.6% higher at $3.58 ½ a bushel in Chicago, with new crop contracts reporting similar gains.

However, the export numbers took some of the icing off a rally in soybeans, with inspections coming in at a weak 4.6m bushels.

August beans were 3.1% higher at $11.70 ½ a bushel, below a day high of $11.90 ½ a bushel.

Wheat for September, meanwhile, jumped 4.5% to 23.5 cents to $5.51 ¼ a bushel.


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