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Published July 02, 2015, 01:10 PM

Corn climbs to six-month high on wet U.S. Midwest weather

CHICAGO - U.S. corn futures rose to a six-month peak on Thursday, adding to strong gains earlier in the week as adverse weather in the parts of the U.S. Midwest and Western Europe threatened crops.

By: Karl Plume, Reuters

CHICAGO - U.S. corn futures rose to a six-month peak on Thursday, adding to strong gains earlier in the week as adverse weather in the parts of the U.S. Midwest and Western Europe threatened crops.

Prices for soybeans and wheat also firmed as investors squared positions ahead of the U.S. Independence Day holiday on Friday, when U.S. markets are closed.

Concern that wet weather would curb corn and soybean production prospects kept a floor under prices, which got a boost this week from U.S. Department of Agriculture data on Tuesday that showed lower-than-expected stocks of the crops.

More rain is expected in the coming days in parts of the eastern Corn Belt, forecasters said.

"The latest forecasts shifted the rain to the wettest areas of Indiana, Illinois and Ohio and that is putting some premium back into the market for corn and soybeans," said Brian Hoops, president of Midwest Market Solutions.

Hot, dry weather in grain production regions in Europe added further support, he said.

Analytics firm Informa Economics cut its U.S. corn production forecast on Thursday to 13.412 billion bushels, down from 13.564 billion previously, and trimmed average yields by 1 bushel per acre to 165.4 bpa, trade sources said. Informa also raised its U.S. soy crop forecast slightly.

Chicago Board of Trade September corn was up 5 cents, or 1.2 percent, at $4.27-1/2 a bushel at 10:56 a.m. CDT (1556 GMT), the contract's highest point this year.

CBOT August soybeans gained 1/4 cent to $10.41 a bushel. September SRW wheat added 5-1/2 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $5.94 a bushel.

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