Bloomberg News

Wheat Drops to Three-Month Low as Global Supplies May Be Ample

June 16, 2011

June 16 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat futures fell to a three-month low on speculation that global supplies will be ample as Russia resumes exports next month, while rains improve crop prospects in Ukraine.

Russia, once the world’s second-largest shipper, plans to remove a ban on exports July 1. Ukraine’s Hydrometeorology Center said weekend rains across most of the country improved the harvest outlook. The U.S. Department of Agriculture on June 9 raised its estimate for global inventories to 184.26 million metric tons, up 1.7 percent from a month earlier.

“You’ve got the prospects of a big Russian crop, with them back out exporting again,” said Tomm Pfitzenmaier, a partner at Summit Commodity Brokerage in Des Moines, Iowa. “The whole thing looks pretty negative.”

Wheat futures for September delivery plunged 31 cents, or 4.2 percent, to settle at $7.0825 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching $7.0325, the lowest for a most-active contract since March 17.

While the commodity has slumped 9.5 percent this month, prices are up 49 percent from a year ago, after a drought in Russia last year and a dry spell that threatened crops in the U.S. Great Plains and Europe in 2011. The U.S. is the leading exporter.

Wheat is the fourth-largest U.S. crop, valued at $13 billion in 2010, behind corn, soybeans and hay, government figures show.

--With assistance from Kateryna Choursina in Kiev. Editors: Steve Stroth, 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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