Wheat Trims Weekly Gain as Rain Forecast to Aid Dry U.S. Crops

March 28, 2014 03:40 AM
Wheat Trims Weekly Gain as Rain Forecast to Aid Dry U.S. Crops

Wheat fell for a third day in four in Chicago as rain on the U.S. Plains was expected to provide relief to crops and ahead of next week’s U.S. Department of Agriculture planting report. Corn also declined.

The northern and eastern Plains may get showers in 11 to 15 days, particularly central Kansas, reducing areas in the region under moisture stress to 50 percent from 65 percent, David Streit, a meteorologist at Commodity Weather Group, said by phone yesterday. Parts of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas received 0.25 to 0.75 inches (0.6-1.9 centimeters) of rain yesterday, data from World Ag Weather show.

Soft red winter wheat for May delivery fell 1.3 percent to $7.0125 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade by 6:26 a.m., while hard red winter wheat declined 1.2 percent to $7.745. Milling wheat for May traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris slipped 0.1 percent to 211.25 euros ($290.14) a metric ton.

"There were reports of ample rainfall across the U.S. Plains over the past days, offering some much-needed relief to crops," U.K. grain trader Gleadell Agriculture Ltd. wrote in a market comment today. "There’s no doubt that all the markets are awaiting the USDA’s plantings and stocks report, which will be released on Monday."

Chicago soft red winter wheat futures for May are still up 1.2 percent this week and have surged 17 percent this month, set for the biggest such advance since July 2012. Hard red winter wheat has advanced 0.4 percent this week and is up 15 percent from the end of February.


Weather Concerns


"We’ve seen the market firm over the course of the last week on ongoing weather concerns in the U.S. hard, red winter- wheat belt," Brett Cooper, a senior manager at FCStone Australia Pty in Sydney, said by phone. "A higher chance of moisture along with the fact that it’s slightly cooler probably helped to see a round of profit-taking."

Corn for May delivery dropped 0.4 percent to $4.90 a bushel, retreating from the highest close for a most-active contract since Aug. 26. Through yesterday, futures rose 19 percent from a 40-month low of $4.12 on Jan. 9, approaching the 20 percent rise on a closing basis that denotes a bull market. Prices added 2.4 percent this week and are set to advance 16 percent this quarter, the first such gain since September 2012.

Global corn stocks may rise to a 15-year high at the end of the 2014-15 season as production outpaces usage for a second year, the International Grains Council forecast yesterday.

Soybeans for delivery in May were little changed at $14.36 a bushel. Futures are poised for a 1.9 percent advance this week.

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