Bloomberg News

Wheat May Rise on Bets Export Demand to Climb After Price Drop

February 22, 2012

Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat futures, little changed, may rise on speculation that demand will gain after prices dropped yesterday to a four-week low.

About 22.15 million bushels of U.S. wheat were inspected for export in the week ended Feb. 16, up 17 percent from a week earlier, the Department of Agriculture said yesterday. Wheat and corn prices fell yesterday on speculation that the USDA will report tomorrow that U.S. acreage will rise this year. Both grains are used in livestock feed. Corn futures were up today in early trading.

Prices “are maybe getting down into a zone where we’ll see a little bit of demand pick up,” Jason Britt, the president of brokerage Central States Commodities Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri, said in a telephone interview. “One thing that would help wheat is if corn would stabilize.”

Wheat futures for May delivery fell 0.25 cent to $6.365 a bushel at 10:02 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Before today, the commodity was down 4.4 percent this month.

U.S. farmers may plant 94.329 million acres of corn this year, the most since 1944, and 57.233 million acres in wheat, the most in three years, according to a Bloomberg News survey. The USDA will release its first acreage forecasts for this year’s crops tomorrow at its annual Outlook Forum in Arlington, Virginia.

Wheat is the fourth-largest U.S. crop, valued at $14.4 billion in 2011, behind corn, soybeans and hay, USDA data show.

--Editors: Daniel Enoch, Tom Galatola.

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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