Bloomberg News

Wheat Rises on Bets U.S. Debt Accord May Spur Commodity Demand

August 01, 2011

Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat futures rose for the first time in three sessions on speculation that U.S. lawmakers will reach an agreement to raise the nation’s debt ceiling before the deadline tomorrow, easing concern that commodity demand will dwindle.

Democratic and Republican leaders in the U.S. House and Senate agreed to a compromise that would raise the debt ceiling by at least $2.1 trillion and cut the federal deficit by $2.4 trillion or more.

“It looks like the debt-ceiling debate is over, and everything seems to have a little bit better tone to it,” Jason Britt, the president of Central States Commodities Inc., a broker in Kansas City, Missouri, said in a telephone interview. Wheat and other raw materials “have been getting their strings pulled by outside markets,” he said.

Wheat futures for December delivery rose 5 cents, or 0.7 percent, to close at $7.2075 a bushel at 1:40 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price dropped 4 percent in the previous two sessions. The most-active contract has gained 9 percent in the past year.

Parts of North Dakota got more than 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain overnight, and winds were as high as 60 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service. The state is the largest U.S. wheat grower.

“The debt talk is a big deal, but hopefully we can get back to fundamentals,” Britt said. Wheat prices may rise as debt woes fade, he said.

The U.S. is the world’s leading wheat exporter. The grain is the nation’s fourth-largest crop, valued at $13 billion in 2010, behind corn, soybeans and hay, government data show.

--Editors: Patrick McKiernan, Millie Munshi

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Chappatta in Chicago at bchappatta@bloomberg.net

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


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