Bloomberg News

Wheat Jumps to 14-Month High as Dry Weather Scorches U.S. Crop

July 09, 2012

Wheat futures rose to a 14-month high as hot, dry weather in the past two weeks curbed prospects for the spring crop in the northern portion of the U.S. Great Plains.

No rain has fallen in 14 days in areas of North Dakota, the biggest U.S. wheat producer, National Weather Service data show. About 71 percent of the spring crop was rated good or excellent as of July 1, down from 77 percent a week earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. This afternoon, the government will release a weekly report on plant conditions.

“They need moisture soon” in the northern Plains, Jamey Kohake, a broker at Paragon Investments in Silver Lake, Kansas, said in a telephone interview. “They’ve been taking a beating the last couple of weeks.”

Wheat futures for September delivery gained 3.4 percent to $8.335 a bushel at 10:07 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price reached $8.4575, the highest for a most- active contract since April 27, 2011.

From the end of May to July 6, wheat surged 25 percent after hot, dry weather eroded yields in the southern Plains.

Corn futures in Chicago surged by the exchange limit of 40 cents a bushel, signaling more demand for wheat to make livestock feed.

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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