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Heat threatens US corn crop

Prices jump on first sign of stress


Corn prices experienced their biggest jump in three weeks on Thursday, driven by concerns about an impending heatwave. Weather models indicate above-normal temperatures in the Midwestern corn belt, a key growing region. While the overall US crop condition remains strong, this heat threat could stress some fields and impact yields.

Prior to Thursday's surge, corn prices had been weighed down by positive crop condition reports, indicating the crop's best health for this time of year since 2021. The forecast for hot weather caused a shift in sentiment.

"The price increase is due to the heat coming around June 15th," explained Joe Davis, a broker at Futures International. This heatwave could negatively affect corn development, potentially leading to lower yields and higher prices in the future.

Adding to the price rise, the US Department of Agriculture announced a significant corn sale to unknown buyers, further tightening supply concerns.

Additionally, July corn contracts, reflecting near-term harvests, saw a steeper increase compared to December contracts, as some traders adjusted their positions in anticipation of potential heat-related crop issues.

This development highlights the vulnerability of agricultural markets to weather fluctuations. While the US corn crop is currently in good condition, a heatwave could disrupt its growth and impact global grain prices.

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