Corn prices may rise 30% on US weather: Hightower

23 May 2019 | Tim Worledge

Corn futures trading on the Chicago Board of Trade could rally more than 30% to hit a five-year high as wet weather across the US will see millions of potential planted acres lost, David Hightower of the Hightower Report said Thursday.

Speaking at the Unimerchants conference in Hamburg, Hightower said that the next three weeks would set the tone in the corn market for the next 18 months.

“Corn (futures) reaching $4.50-$5.20/bu this year is not out of the question because of the weather story,” said Hightower.

Corn futures for July delivery have rallied to a four-month high of almost $4/bu in the past month.

This came amid fears that persistent rain would see farmers claim on prevented planting insurance and cut US planted acreage for the 2019/20 marketing year to well below the 92.8 million forecasted by the USDA in March.

That dynamic has hauled up prices globally, with corn cargoes trading out of Ukraine, Argentina and the US Gulf hitting their highest level in almost two months, at $174.50/mt, $159/mt and 175/mt, respectively, according to Agricensus data.

With the 8-14 day forecast still showing rain for much of the impacted areas of the corn belt, farmers will still need 5-6 days of dry weather to plant the grain.

“We’re leaving low prices behind us – this weather is a bigger setback than what the market will factor in right now,” said Hightower.