Corn prices rise sharply on improving export sales

    Corn prices are sharply higher because of a rise in U.S. export sales.

    Corn rose 21.5 cents Friday to settle at $6.37 a bushel. It’s the highest level since the government reported last week that U.S. farmers have planted the second-largest crop in nearly 70 years. Wheat and soybeans also rose.

    The U.S. Agriculture Department says China, South Korea and Egypt are among the countries that bought corn this week. Corn export sales rose 45 percent last week from the previous four-week average.

    Analysts say the news is raising expectations of stronger demand.

    Energy and industrial metals mostly fell. A weak jobs report caused concerns about economic growth in the months ahead. That could lead to lower demand for commodities.