Corn gains on strong demand; wheat firms

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    SINGAPORE- Chicago corn futures gained for a fifth consecutive session on Wednesday as China’s strong purchases of US supplies underpinned the market.

    Wheat prices rose for a third straight session while soybeans ticked lower.

    “News of a hefty US export sale to China was a plus,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

    The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) added 0.1 percent to $5.55 a bushel, after gaining 0.9 percent on Tuesday.

    Soybeans Sv1 were down 0.2 percent at $14.20-3/4 a bushel and wheat Wv1 gained 0.1 percent to $6.47-3/4 a bushel.

    The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Tuesday confirmed US corn sales to China totaling 1.156 million tons, the highest since January. (The sales came after the USDA on Monday reported one of the strongest weeks of corn export inspections on record.

    There could be more demand for corn imports as China faces a threat from armyworm, which attack corn among other crops.

    Pressure to prevent and control armyworm in China this year is significantly higher than last year, the country’s agriculture ministry said on Tuesday.

    The climate conditions in Mekong river area is favorable for reproduction of the pest, and there will be sufficient armyworm to migrate to China later, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in a statement, citing Wu Kongming, an expert with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

    Russia is prepared to stop interfering in the regulation of grain exports when the market stabilizes, the Interfax news agency cited Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev as saying on Tuesday.