Corn futures held fairly steady on Friday, edging up only slightly as harvest outlooks are weighed against previous delays and upcoming dry weather.
According to Bloomberg, corn for December delivery saw very little change, hitting $3.5275 a bushel at 7:19 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Despite Friday's weak gain, corn futures still increased 5.6 percent this week, heading for the biggest gain since May 2013, as rain delayed grain harvests throughout the Midwest. Even though forecasts show that the region is in for drier weather, the rains of the past two weeks may have caused more major delays than expected. Only 24 percent of the corn harvest is completed now, compared to the 43 percent completed by this time last year.
"The ongoing U.S. corn harvest is being delayed. The crop struggles to mature in the northern states due to adverse weather, potentially lowering production," said David Sheppard, a managing director at Gainsborough, England-based Gleadell Agriculture Ltd., in an e-mailed note to Bloomberg today.
According to Reuters, analysts believe that despite the flagging harvest, the U.S. can still expect record crop production.
"There is a short-term spike in prices because of harvest delays and money flowing in commodity markets but we haven't seen any major change in the fundamental picture. We are still looking at record supplies of corn and soybeans while wheat is shaping up well," said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank, to Reuters.
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