Bloomberg News

Wheat Falls First Time Since May 10 on Rain in Black Sea Region

May 22, 2012

Wheat fell for the first time in seven sessions on speculation that rain in parts of Ukraine and Russia will ease concern that dry weather will damage crops.

Temperatures are also expected to decline in Ukraine, according to the Meteorology Center in Kiev. That will benefit wheat that’s at the critical stage when the head of the plant that contains the grain emerges, Telvent DTN said today in a report. Some rain is also expected in grain-growing areas of Russia, Telvent said.

“There’s talk about a little scattered rain in Ukraine,” Jim Hemminger, a risk-management specialist at Top Third Ag Marketing in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Wheat is so fickle, if it does get a little rain” it can rebound from dry conditions, he said.

Wheat futures for July delivery dropped 2.6 percent to settle at $6.855 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price gained 18 percent in the previous six sessions as hot, dry weather curbed production in the southern U.S. Great Plains and in the Black Sea region that includes parts of Russia and Ukraine.

The U.S. is expected to be the largest exporter of wheat in 2012-13, followed by Australia, Canada, Russia, Kazakhstan and Argentina, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Ukraine is tied for seventh with Turkey, USDA data show.

Wheat is the fourth-largest U.S. crop, valued at $14.4 billion in 2011, behind corn, soybeans and hay, U.S. Department of Agriculture 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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