Bloomberg News

Wheat Rises on Shrinking Global Crop; Corn Gains; Soybeans Fall

May 03, 2012

Wheat rose from a two-week low on speculation that adverse weather will curb global output, increasing demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s top exporter. Corn advanced, and soybeans fell from a 44-month high.

The global wheat harvest may slip 3.6 percent to 675.1 million metric tons, and stockpiles will slide 6.5 percent to 182.7 million tons, the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization said today in a report. Shrinking wheat supplies may increase demand for corn in livestock feed.

“World wheat supplies will be smaller this year, and that will help to drive business to the U.S.,” Mike Zuzolo, the president of Global Commodity Analysts & Consulting LLC in Lafayette, Indiana, said in a telephone interview. “The supply of feed wheat for livestock has been depleted, and that should help to boost corn demand.”

Wheat futures for July delivery climbed 0.2 percent to close at $6.155 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the first gain in three days. Yesterday, the grain dropped to the lowest price since April 18 on speculation that rains will boost U.S. production. The July contract on the Kansas City Board of Trade rose 0.4 percent to $6.33 a bushel.

Corn futures for July delivery rose 0.5 percent to $6.145 a bushel in Chicago, after falling 3.6 percent the past two days. The contract for December delivery, after the U.S. harvest, fell 0.3 percent to $5.295 on speculation that rain and warm weather this week will boost yields. Farmers told the government in March they intended to plant the most corn acres in 75 years.

Soybean futures for July delivery fell 0.8 percent to settle at $14.735 a bushel on the CBOT, after yesterday touching $15.125, the highest since July 2008. The oilseed used to make animal feed and cooking oil has jumped 22 percent this year after hot, dry weather reduced production in South America.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $76.5 billion in 2011, followed by soybeans at $35.8 billion, government figures show. Wheat is the fourth-largest at $14.4 billion, behind hay.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Wilson in Chicago at jwilson29@bloomber.net

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


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