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Wheat Cuts Biggest Monthly Rise Since 2012 on Rains

March 31, 2014
wheat field sky

Wheat fell to trim the largest monthly advance since July 2012 on speculation rains may aid parched crops in the U.S., the top exporter. Corn declined as a government report may show reserves rose to a four-year high.

Wheat for May delivery fell as much as 0.5 percent to $6.92 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade and was at $6.93 by 1:50 p.m. in Singapore. Futures climbed 15 percent this month on concern dry weather may hurt crops from the U.S. to Australia, set to be the fourth-biggest exporter in 2013-2014, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Some showers may occur in western Kansas late this week, which could aid additional dry areas, Commodity Weather Group said March 28. Areas in eastern Australia received as much as 2 centimeters, boosting soil moisture before planting starts next month, according to Queensland Farmers’ Federation. Global output will reach 700 million metric tons in 2014-2015, more than the 696 million estimated in February, International Grains Council said March 27.

"Over the past week, prices have oscillated between large gains and losses, with sentiment impacted by changing weather forecasts in the U.S. and Australia," said Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. "Volatility is likely to remain elevated tonight with the USDA releasing it quarterly stocks and prospective plantings reports," he said in a note today.


Corn Stockpiles


Corn for May delivery lost 0.5 percent to $4.895 a bushel, reducing its third straight monthly increase to 5.6 percent on speculation that inventories in the U.S. rose to 7.098 billion bushels on March 1, the highest level for the date since 2010, according to a Bloomberg survey. The USDA is scheduled to update its estimates in the quarterly reserves report today.

Prices are set for the longest run of monthly gains since February 2011 as U.S. exports increased. The USDA report on planting prospects may show corn seeding will be reduced as U.S. farmers sow the most acres of soybeans ever, the survey showed.

Soybean futures rose 0.2 percent to $14.385 a bushel, set for a 1.7 percent gain this month after a 10 percent rise in February. U.S. stockpiles on March 1 fell to the lowest level in 10 years for the date, according to the survey.

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