Wheat Drops to Four-Week Low on Signs U.S. Exports May Slow

Wheat futures fell to a four-week low on speculation that demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s top exporter, will ebb as countries including India and Russia boost shipments.

India, the second-largest grower, lifted a four-year ban on exports, allowing companies to ship 2 million metric tons, Food Minister K.V. Thomas said yesterday. Russia has stepped up sales after a drought slashed production last year. The dollar jumped to the highest since March against a basket of six currencies, eroding the appeal of U.S. goods.

“The focus is on the demand side of the balance sheet,” Jeff McReynolds, the owner of McReynolds Marketing & Investments said by telephone from Hays, Kansas. “The dollar keeps going up every day, which hurts our competitiveness.”

Wheat futures for December delivery fell 8.25 cents, or 1.1 percent, to settle at $7.2975 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price touched $7.27, the lowest for a most-active contract since Aug. 11. The grain declined 5.9 percent this week, the second straight drop.

China is the largest grower. Wheat is the fourth-largest U.S. crop, valued at $13 billion in 2010, behind corn, soybeans and hay, government data show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Whitney McFerron in Chicago at wmcferron1@bloomberg.net

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

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