Bloomberg News

Wheat Declines as Rain May Help Planting of U.S. Winter Crop

August 30, 2011

Aug. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat futures fell for a second day in Chicago on speculation rain forecast for parts of the U.S. may improve planting conditions for the winter crop. Rice climbed to the highest level since October 2008.

Recent rains hit parts of the Midwest including Nebraska, north Kansas, Iowa and Missouri, Telvent DTN Inc. said in a report yesterday. There is a chance of showers in winter-wheat areas in the central and Southern plains next week, it said.

“The latest weather reports suggest some of the driest U.S. hard-red winter wheat regions will get period rainfall over the next 10 days,” Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said in a report e-mailed today. “Any improvement in soil moisture will be welcome” ahead of planting, he said.

December-delivery wheat fell as much as 1.4 percent to $7.8425 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade and was at $7.84 at 1:14 p.m. in London.

Drought from Kansas to Texas has caused the driest conditions on record, which may hurt winter planting. Southwest and south-central Kansas had the least precipitation on record in the first seven months of the year, according to Mary Knapp, the state meteorologist.

Milling wheat for November delivery fell 0.9 percent to 212 ($305.43) euros on NYSE Liffe in Paris.

Corn for December delivery fell 1.1 percent to $7.6175. Soybeans for November delivery dropped 0.5 percent to $14.395 a bushel.

Corn’s Advance

Corn has climbed 14 percent in the past month and wheat has risen 9.9 percent. U.S. farmers will harvest a smaller corn crop than forecast by the government this month, the Professional Farmers of America newsletter said after sponsoring the 19th annual tour of Midwest fields in seven states last week.

“Clearly the yield numbers that came out of the crop tour last week will be supportive for prices over the second half of 2011,” Luke Chandler, head of agricultural-market research at Rabobank International in London, said by phone. “Fundamentally, we see prices remaining at elevated levels throughout the remainder of 2011 and into 2012.”

Rough-rice for November delivery gained as much as 0.9 percent to $17.705 for 100 pounds in Chicago, and was last at $17.615.

Futures surged 53 percent in the past year, as production in the U.S., the world’s fourth-largest shipper of the grain, is forecast to slump by the most since 1984, while Thailand, the world’s largest exporter, plans to buy the grain from farmers at above-market prices.

“Crop damage in many countries around the globe is happening at the same time Thailand plans to buy paddy rice from farmers above market prices, driving the rally,” said Kiattisak Kanlayasirivat, director at Novel Commodities SA’s office in Thailand in Bangkok.

--With assistance from Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne and Supunnabul Suwannakij in Bangkok. Editors: Richard Dobson, Thomas Kutty Abraham

To contact the reporter on this story: Luzi Ann Javier in Singapore at ljavier@bloomberg.net Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Richard Dobson at rdobson4@bloomberg.net Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net.


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