Bloomberg News

Wheat Rises as Russian Exports May Trail Demand; Corn, Soy Gain

June 02, 2011

June 2 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat futures rose for the first time in three days on speculation that exports from Russia won’t be enough to help meet higher global demand. Corn and soybeans also gained.

Russia, which will lift a ban on grain exports on July 1, may need to implement duties on shipments to cap domestic prices, RIA Novosti reported, citing Sergey Ignatiev, the central bank chairman. Global wheat output may trail consumption as adverse weather from the U.S. to Europe threatens yields, the International Grains Council said.

“With Russia, politics may be a factor with regard to how much wheat they export,” said Jim Gerlach, the president of A/C Trading Inc. in Fowler, Indiana. “There’s already talk about export duties being implemented to limit the amount of grain that’s allowed to be exported.”

Wheat futures for July delivery rose 10.5 cents, or 1.4 percent, to settle at $7.6975 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price dropped 7.4 percent in the previous two days after Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ended an export ban that was imposed in August following a drought. The grain has jumped 74 percent in the past year.

Russia was once the world’s second-biggest wheat exporter. The U.S. is the leading shipper.

Corn futures for July delivery rose 8 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $7.665 a bushel. The commodity has more than doubled in the past year on surging demand from makers of ethanol and livestock feed, while wet weather slowed planting in the U.S., the top producer.

Seven-Week High

Soybean futures for July delivery climbed 20.75 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $14.07 a bushel on the CBOT. Earlier, the price reached $14.115, the highest for a most-active contract since April 11. The oilseed has gained 51 percent in the past year.

Parts of the northern Great Plains, where planting has been delayed this year because of wet weather, may get as much as 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) of rain in the next five days, Commodity Weather Group said in a report. Portions of the Missouri River also are flooding in South Dakota, the forecaster said.

About 86 percent of the U.S. corn crop was planted as of May 29, behind the five-year average of 95 percent, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said this week. Soybean seeding was 51 percent completed, less than the 71 percent average. Spring- wheat sowing was 68 percent finished, down from the 95 percent average.

“We’re probably not going to get all the acres planted that we thought we would,” said Dan Kuechenmeister, the manager of the commodity department at RBC Dain Rauscher in Minneapolis.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $66.7 billion in 2010, followed by soybeans at $38.9 billion, government figures show. Wheat was fourth at $13 billion, behind hay.

--With assistance from Marina Sysoyeva in Moscow. Editors: Patrick McKiernan, Millie Munshi

To contact the reporter on this story: Whitney McFerron in Chicago at wmcferron1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net


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