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U.S. corn prices climb as flooding disrupts river system

Staff Writer |
U.S. yellow corn prices, CIF NOLA basis, spiked Thursday as flooding conditions on the U.S. river system caused major delivery disruptions for exporters.

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S&P Global Platts assessed the US corn CIF New Orleans outright price for April delivery at $4.5050/bu, an increase of 16.5 cents day on day. Platts assessed the front-month basis 8 cents higher from Wednesday at 61 cents/bu.

This is the highest corn prices have been since March 9, when Platts assessed front-month delivery at $4.54/bu amid a prior spell of delivery disruptions due to flooding on the river system.

The flooding has created high-water situations across the river system, with the most delays on the Lower Mississippi River, the Ohio River and into canals on the Gulf of Mexico, according to reports by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Despite congestion on the river system, end users and exporters still need to find ways to keep supply covered.

"There is a good-sized program in the [US Gulf] that needs the [product]," another source said. "The exporter is paying up to keep the corn flowing."

Also lending bullish pressure to corn prices was a rebound in CBOT corn futures after falling Wednesday on news of a Chinese tariff on US agricultural products.

The rebound came Thursday as the market settled down on hopes of possible negotiations between the US and China and beliefs that the Chinese corn interest has less effect on the corn export market than soybeans.

The CBOT May futures contract rose 8.5 cents to $3.8950/bu, rebounding from a 7.5-cent drop in the prior session.

CIF New Orleans outright prices for front-month delivery are set at a basis premium to the CBOT corn futures contract.


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