Bloomberg News

Wheat, Rice Lead Grains Higher on Crop Damage, Low Inventories

September 02, 2011

Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat, rice led grains higher in Chicago on signs of reduced supplies.

The European Union’s weekly wheat export licenses fell to 276,000 metric tons in the week to Aug. 30 from 326,000 tons a week earlier, a European Commission report yesterday showed. Shipments since the season began on July 1 are down 37 percent.

“Wheat supply in the EU is very tight,” Commerzbank AG analyst Carsten Fritsch in Frankfurt wrote in a report today. “Replenishment of stocks is impossible this year.”

Wheat for delivery in December rose 8 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $7.69 a bushel by 1:39 p.m. in London on the Chicago Board of Trade. Rice for November delivery climbed 1.3 percent to $18.20 for 100 pounds. Corn for December delivery rose 0.7 percent to $7.435 a bushel.

Milling wheat for November delivery traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris fell 0.5 percent to 207.75 euros ($296.09) a ton.

Thai Rice

Rice prices have climbed 5.4 percent this week as Thailand plans curbs and the U.S. crop declines. The smallest increase in rice stockpiles in five years means inventories will extend a decline that drove food costs to a record in February.

Thailand, the biggest shipper, is bringing back a policy of buying rice from farmers at above-market prices for storage. Exports from Vietnam, the second-largest, may drop 6.9 percent, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome. Farmers in the U.S., the third-biggest shipper, will harvest 20 percent less after planting more corn and wheat in response to rising prices, the government says.

Rice has advanced 22 percent since the start of May, potentially worsening the lives of the 1.1 billion the World Bank says live on less than $1 a day.

--Editors: Claudia Carpenter, Dan Weeks

To contact the reporter on this story: Sharon Lindores in London at slindores@bloomberg.net

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


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