Wheat Climbs for Second Day as Freeze Threatens Crop

April 3, 2013 04:40 AM

April 3 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat rose for a second day in Chicago, extending a rebound from a nine-month low on concern frost in the U.S. hurt the winter crop and as wet weather may delay spring planting.

Freezing conditions last week may have damaged growing of the grain in the U.S. southern Plains, Bryce Anderson, an agricultural meteorologist at DTN, wrote yesterday. Heavy rain may delay field work in the Delta region this week, according to DTN. The U.S. winter-wheat crop was in its worst shape as of November since government record-keeping began in 1985.

"The concern now is the weather and how the yield will turn out," George Pallett, a trader at Convector Grain Pty Ltd., said by phone from Sydney today.

Wheat for delivery in May gained 1.5 percent to $6.805 a bushel by 5:39 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade on volume that was more than double the 100-day average for the time of day. Prices slid on April 1 to $6.5975, the lowest since June 20.

About 34 percent of the U.S. winter-wheat crop was rated good to excellent in the first rating of the season, up from 33 percent in November, according to the latest Department of Agriculture data released April 1.


Sowing Delays


Milling wheat for delivery in May traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris added 1.4 percent to 240 euros ($307) a metric ton. Winter-grain development in northern France, Europe’s largest wheat grower, is about two weeks behind normal after late autumn planting and cold spring weather, according to the European Union’s crop-monitoring unit.

"From a weather point of view, conditions continue to be unfavorable in northern Europe," French farm adviser Agritel wrote in a report. "Worries persist for the new campaign with temperatures that remain abnormally low for the season."

Corn for delivery in May rose 0.5 percent to $6.4375 a bushel in Chicago. The most-active contract fell yesterday to $6.34, the lowest since June 29, after data from the USDA last week showed reserves are above expectations and farmers plan the biggest crop of the grain since 1936.

Rough rice for delivery in May advanced 1 percent to $15.925 per 100 pounds after climbing 3.3 percent, the most since June, by the close yesterday. The grain jumped 50 cents yesterday, the most allowed by the CBOT, on concern farmers in the U.S. will plant the smallest acreage since 1987 as they switch to more profitable crops.

Soybeans for delivery in May dropped 0.3 percent to $13.905 a bushel. The oilseed reached $13.82, the lowest level since Jan. 14. Prices fell for a second straight quarter in the three months through March, the first back-to-back drops since 2011.


--With assistance from Tony C. Dreibus in Chicago and Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris. Editors: Dan Weeks, John Deane


To contact the reporter on this story: Luzi Ann Javier in Singapore at ljavier@bloomberg.net


To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net

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