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Morning markets: fast planting slows corn price

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It was a tale of three parts for Chicago's main farm commodities on Wednesday – one rising, one falling and one staying put – although none could keep up with a reviving palm oil.

The falling commodity was corn, weakened by official data showing US farmers had made good progress with planting this year's crop.

Sowing was 82% complete, the US Department of Agriculture said, behind an average of 93% but well above the 62% a week before.

Chicago corn for July stood 0.5 cents lower at $4.27 a bushel in electronic trading at 06:15 GMT, with new crop contracts showing a similar decline.

Rising beans

Wheat, meanwhile, stayed put at $6.12 a bushel. While the USDA planting data showing more modest progress was, in theory, more supportive to the price, profit-taking has taken its toll on recent wheat rallies.

The best performer was, as so often of late, the soybean, helped by the familiar story of booming Chinese demand, a weak Argentine crop and bumper US exports.

Some forecasts see US soybean supplies falling to 75m bushels, the equivalent of only one week's supply.

July beans added 1.75 cents to $11.87 ¼ a bushel, with some new crop contracts doing even better, January 2010 beans. For instance, added 5.5 cents to $10.49 ¾ a bushel.

Production hopes

However, that wasn't a patch on palm oil which, after a couple of days in the doldrums, added 2.1% on thoughts that Malaysia's production signals this year might not be as promising as some observers had thought.

Bursa Malaysia's benchmark August contract ended the morning session up 51 ringgit at 2,481 ringgit a tonne.

On the external markets, Tokyo shares closed up 1.4%, while oil ticked higher amid continue optimism about the US economy following Tuesday's strong consumer confidence report.

New York crude for July added $0.28 to $62.73 a barrel, with Brent crude rising $0.25 to $61.49 a barrel.

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