Bloomberg News

Wheat Falls as Rising Output in 2012 May Overwhelm Demand

May 11, 2012

Wheat fell, capping a second straight weekly decline, after the U.S. forecast increased domestic production as favorable weather in the southern Great Plains and Midwest boosts yields.

The winter-wheat crop in the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter, will jump 13 percent to 1.694 billion bushels this season, the USDA said in a report yesterday. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg estimated a harvest of 1.658 billion bushels. Warm weather and timely rain has improved field conditions and sped development in Kansas, the top U.S. grower of winter varieties.

“The report was negative with the higher-than-expected production numbers,” Tom Leffler, the owner of Leffler Commodities LLC in Augusta, Kansas, said in a telephone interview.

Wheat futures for July delivery slipped 0.7 percent to settle at $5.97 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price fell 2.1 percent this week and has slumped 8.5 percent this year.

The price also declined on speculation that global consumption of the grain will decline after India said its industrial production unexpectedly contracted in March on weaker demand and China’s output grew the least since 2009 in April, Leffler said.

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

To contact the reporter on this story: Tony C. Dreibus in Chicago at tdreibus@bloomberg.net.

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


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