Wheat Slides to 19-Month Low as Record Harvest to Boost Supply

December 24, 2013 03:44 AM
Wheat Slides to 19-Month Low as Record Harvest to Boost Supply

Wheat fell to a 19-month low in Chicago amid prospects for record global production to boost supply of the grain.

Prices slumped 22 percent in Chicago this year, set for the biggest annual drop since 2008, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture projected a world harvest at an all-time high of 711.4 million metric tons.

"The 2013 wheat market will be remembered as the year of global rebound after the 2012 drought," Todd Hultman, an analyst at DTN, wrote in a report today. "Buyers are still not motivated to jump in too quickly, and that is why the downtrend is likely to continue into early 2014."

Wheat for delivery in March dropped 0.5 percent to the day’s low of $6.065 a bushel by 7:44 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. That was the lowest price for a most-active contract since May 16, 2012. Milling wheat for the same delivery month traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris fell 0.1 percent to 206.25 euros ($282.21) a ton by the close.

About 19.5 million bushels of U.S. wheat were inspected for export in the week ended Dec. 19, up 28 percent from a year earlier, the USDA said yesterday. Shipments since June 1 climbed 41 percent from a year earlier, USDA data show.

"We’ve seen some pretty good demand side come to the market as a result of prices coming off a little bit," Graydon Chong, a grains and oilseeds analyst at Rabobank International, said by phone from Sydney. "We’re still seeing pretty good global stocks."


Christmas Break


Trading of agricultural products in Chicago and Paris will be closed tomorrow for Christmas. The French market also will be shut on Dec. 26. Trading in Paris ended by 2 p.m. local time today, while the CBOT is set to close at noon local time.

Trading volume for Chicago wheat was 72 percent below the average in the past 100 days for the time of day, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

"Little change in the markets on Christmas Eve," Paris- based farm adviser Agritel said in a market comment. "Activity is reduced with the close of many storage operators."

Corn for delivery in March slipped 0.4 percent to $4.325 a bushel in Chicago. Soybeans for the same delivery month declined 0.3 percent to $13.1625 a bushel.


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