U.S. corn futures are expected to start higher Friday in a rebound from a one-month low.
Traders predict corn for December delivery, the most actively traded contract, will open up 3 cents to 4 cents a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade. In overnight electronic trading, the contract rose 3 3/4 cents, or 0.5%, to $7.04 3/4 a bushel.
Pushing the market higher are traders buying back previously sold positions following a steep break in prices. They are seen to be taking profits on the positions ahead of the weekend and amid a growing perception the market may not have much farther to fall in the short-term. December corn has already retreated 9.5% from a contract high set in late August.
"We seem poised for short-term stabilization and price recovery," said Duane Lowry, analyst for Early Market News, an agricultural advisory firm.
Corn futures have suffered heavy losses recently in a turnaround from a surge in prices in August. The market climbed last month on concerns the harvest will fall short of expectations and seemed to price in the fears when December corn reached a contract high of almost $7.80 a bushel.
Output is projected to drop from last year as the crop suffered damage from intense heat and dryness this summer. Yet, farmers are still expected to harvest the third-largest crop in history after high prices encouraged traders to plant a massive number of acres last spring.
Grain users, who remain uncertain about the size of the crop, are likely to increase their purchases to take advantage of the recent decline in prices, traders and analysts said. East Asian importers will likely buy several hundred thousand tons if December corn prices fall below $7.00 a bushel, according to a Singapore-based executive with a global commodities trading company. That would likely help prices recover. The U.S. is the world's largest exporter of corn.
--Sameer Mohindru in Singapore contributed to this article.