Bloomberg News

Wheat Climbs on Demand for U.S. Supplies; Corn, Soy Gain

May 25, 2012

Wheat futures jumped the most in a week as declining world production boosts demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter. Corn and soybeans for delivery after this year’s harvest rose.

World wheat output will fall 3.5 percent to 670.5 million metric tons in the season that begins June 1 from a year earlier, according to the International Grains Council. Last week, U.S. exporters sold the most grain in 14 months, the Department of Agriculture said yesterday. The U.S. is winning business from Russian suppliers whose domestic prices are too high, Arkady Zlochevsky, Russia’s grain union president, said in Moscow today.

“Exports are picking up for U.S. wheat because of declining world crops,” Sid Love, the president of Joe Kropf & Sid Love Consulting Services in Overland Park, Kansas, said in a telephone interview.

Wheat futures for July delivery advanced 2.6 percent to close at $6.80 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest gain since May 18. The most-active contract dropped 2.2 percent this week, the third decline in four weeks.

The grain also climbed on speculation that freezing temperatures in parts of the northern U.S. Great Plains and Canada overnight may have damaged spring varieties, Love said.

Corn and soybeans for delivery after the harvest rose on speculation that unusually hot, dry weather will reduce yield potential for crops in the U.S., the biggest producer.

Dry Weather

The lack of rain will deplete soil moisture for most fields from Arkansas to Ohio during the next five days before cooler weather and light showers return by May 30, Global Weather Monitoring said in a report. Rainfall will be restricted by low humidity and dry subsoil, increasing potential crop stress, the private forecaster said.

“Weather will be the main focus for the next several months,” Jason Roose, a broker and market analyst for U.S. Commodities Inc. in West Des Moines, Iowa, said in a telephone interview.

Corn futures for delivery in December, after the harvest, rose 1.3 percent to $5.215 a bushel in Chicago. The contract for July delivery, the most actively-traded and widely-held, was unchanged at $5.785. The contract tumbled 9 percent this week, the most since May 2011, after rising 9.4 percent a week earlier.

Soybean futures for July delivery climbed 0.4 percent to $13.82 a bushel on the CBOT, paring this week’s decline to 1.5 percent, the fourth straight drop for the most-active futures contract. The November contract increased 1 percent at $12.8925.

Corn is the most valuable U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, hay and wheat, USDA data show.

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

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


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