Corn tops $7 a bushel for first time since 2013 in most-active contract



* High corn prices are not destroying demand, Bunge CEO says

* Feed demand remains strong from meat producers - analysts

* Traders worry Brazil dryness threatens corn output

By Tom Polansek

CHICAGO, May 4 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures on Tuesday topped $7 a bushel in the most-active contract for the first time since 2013 on concerns about tightening global supplies.

Surging prices have done little to curb robust demand for corn used to feed livestock and produce ethanol, opening the door for the market to extend gains, analysts said.

There has been "no demand destruction" amid strong profitability for meat production, said Greg Heckman, chief executive officer for global grains trader Bunge Ltd BG.N

Asian feed manufacturers are switching to wheat from corn in animal rations, though Heckman said increased wheat feeding to livestock in China is temporary.

"We've got good animal profitability and good demand right now," Heckman said on an earnings call with analysts.

The most actively traded corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Cv1 was up 22 cents at $7.01-1/2 a bushel by 11:20 a.m. CDT (1620 GMT). The market earlier reached $7.03-1/4 a bushel, the highest price for a most-active contract since March 2013.

Most-active wheat futures Wv1 were up 8-1/2 cents at $7.26-1/2 a bushel at the CBOT. Soybeans Sv1 jumped 18-1/2 cents to $15.42-1/2 a bushel, near an eight-year high hit last week.

Gains in corn helped pull up soybean and wheat prices, traders said.

Oilseed inventories are also tight, keeping the soybean market supported in the face of concern over reduced vegetable oil demand in India due to a surge in coronavirus cases.

In Brazil, weather forecasts showed little sign of rain relief for dry southern corn-growing areas, keeping attention on global supply tensions despite U.S. planting progress. Brazil's second annual crop is seen as crucial to boosting short-term availability ahead of the U.S. harvest later in the year.

"In Brazil, the dry weather is still predominant and maize crops are suffering," consultancy Agritel said.


Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago, Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore. Editing by Subhranshu Sahu, Mark Potter and Andrea Ricci

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