Wheat Drops as Livestock-Feed Demand May Fall Amid Declining Corn Prices

Wheat futures fell on signs that demand will ease as the price of corn, also used in livestock feed, dropped for the fifth time in six sessions.

Dry weather in the U.S. in the next two weeks will increase the pace of the corn harvest, said Jason Britt, the president of Central States Commodities Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri. Wheat prices dropped 2.6 percent last week.

“It’s going to be a very open week for the harvest for corn,” Britt said. “They’re all interconnected, so if we see some harvest weakness develop, you’re probably going to bring wheat back a little.”

Wheat futures for December delivery declined 13.5 cents, or 1.9 percent, to close at $7.065 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price has jumped 47 percent since the end of June as wet weather curbed production in Canada and the most-severe drought in 50 years hurt Russian crops.

Corn futures for December delivery fell 9 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $5.1275 a bushel.

Last year, the U.S. was the biggest wheat exporter, followed by Canada, Russia and Australia, Department of Agriculture data show.

The price may rebound as the dollar’s slump enhances the appeal of U.S. exports. The greenback has dropped 4.6 percent this month against a basket of major currencies.

“The psychology of the weaker dollar is absolutely taking place,” Britt said. “It’s going to help prices. Over time, a weaker dollar tends to keep exports more competitive.”

Wheat is the fourth-biggest U.S. crop, valued at $10.6 billion in 2009, behind corn, soybeans and hay, government data show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tony C. Dreibus in Chicago at tdreibus@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net.

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