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Wheat Swings Amid Signs of Record Crop, Rising Demand

November 20, 2013
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Wheat swung between gains and losses in Chicago amid an outlook for record production and indications of demand from importers, with Egypt buying grain from Russia yesterday in its second tender in two weeks.

Egypt, the world’s biggest wheat buyer, agreed to purchase cargoes from Russia for $305.66 a metric ton including cost of freight. Prices rose from last week’s tender, when the country bought 240,000 tons of French and Romanian wheat for between $299.74 and $305.61 a ton, freight included.

Wheat for March delivery fell 0.2 percent to $6.5825 a bushel before the pause in trading on the Chicago Board of Trade by 7:45 a.m. local time, after earlier rising 0.4 percent. Futures have lost 7.5 percent since reaching a four-month high of $7.1125 on Oct. 21 and are set to retreat for a second month in November.

"The market is looking for new news to trade," Paul Georgy, the president of Allendale Inc., wrote in a market comment today. "Without fundamental news, traders turn to technical signals."

Lebanon is tendering today to buy 20,000 tons of the grain, while Japan is seeking to buy the most milling wheat in three months from the U.S., Canada and Australia. About 18.1 million bushels of wheat were inspected for export in the week ended Nov. 14, 45 percent more than the week prior, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Wheat "was falling too far, too fast," said Ole Houe, director of advisory services at Ikon Commodities Pty Ltd. in Sydney. "When you look at export numbers around the world, U.S. wheat is very competitive. It’s a general expectation that the U.S. will be getting a lot of export demand."

Futures have tumbled this year amid expectations for record production, forecast to reach 706.4 million tons, according to the USDA.

Milling wheat for January delivery traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris gained 0.4 percent to 204.50 euros ($277) a ton.

Corn for March delivery fell 0.4 percent to $4.245 a bushel in Chicago. Soybeans for delivery in January were little changed at $12.765 a bushel.



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