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Corn & Soybean Gains; Copper Reached 11-Month High; Brazil Sugar-Cane Yield Declines

August 28, 2009 at 21:04 by Vladimir Vyun

Corn and soybean prices went up as slower than normal development of the crops in the U.S. cause concern that an early freeze may inflict damage on the crops. About 18 percent of the corn crop was beginning to mature by August 23rd, compared average of 43 percent in the previous five years. About 85 percent of the soybean plants were setting pods and beginning to fill them with beans, down from average of 92 percent in the previous five years. Temperatures the next five days will be 16 degrees Fahrenheit below normal in the Midwest, which is not cold enough to affect plants. Estimated yield of a corn is 12.761 billion bushels (up to 5.5 percent in the previous year) and soybeans production expected to be 3.199 billion bushels (up to 8.1 percent from 2.959 billion in the previous year), as reported by the USDA. December futures for corn delivery went up $0.02 (0.6 percent) to $3.3125 per bushel as of 10:18 on CBoT. November futures for soybean delivery gained $0.18 (1.8 percent) to $10.14 per bushel in Chicago.

Copper reached the highest price in 11 months as the global economy recovers and demand in China increased. Consumer spending in the U.S. rose for the third straight month in July and European confidence in the economic outlook increased this month to the highest since October. High expectations for economic recovery lead to speculation that demand for the metal may increase. Chinese imports of refined copper more than doubled in the first half of the year with support by the government’s 4 trillion yuan ($585 billion) spending plan for stimulation of the local economy. China is the world’s largest metals consumer. December futures for copper delivery gained $0.102 (3.6 percent) to $2.974 per pound by 11:07 on the New York Mercantile Exchange’s Comex division.

Sugar-cane yield in Brazil is decreasing because of severe rains in parts of the Center South, the world’s biggest producing region. Center South provides more than 80 percent of Brazil’s sugar. Dry weather in the first half of August allowed growers to speed up harvest but rains forced to delay harvest. Previously sugar has doubled this year because of worries that a drought will diminish cane yield in India.

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