Bloomberg News

Wheat Futures Decline Most in Three Weeks as U.S. Exports Slump

September 01, 2011

Sept. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat futures fell the most in three weeks on signs that demand for U.S. supplies is slowing.

U.S. exporters sold 369,162 metric tons of wheat in the week ended Aug. 25, trailing analyst expectations and 64 percent less than the same week last year, the Department of Agriculture said today. Prices touched a three-month high on Aug. 29. The dollar climbed to the highest in almost three weeks today against a basket of six currencies, making commodities priced in the greenback more expensive for importers.

“We’ve been losing a little bit of demand as these prices have gone up,” Dewey Strickler, the president of Ag Watch Market Advisers, said by telephone from Franklin, Kentucky. “What has hurt things in the grains is the fact that the dollar is up a little. That’s probably the case today.”

Wheat futures for December delivery fell 30.5 cents, or 3.9 percent, to settle at $7.61 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, capping the biggest drop since Aug. 8.

The grain climbed 11 percent in August on speculation that dry weather in the U.S. Great Plains would curb winter-crop planting that begins this month.

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

--Editors: Millie Munshi, Daniel Enoch

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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