Wheat Gains as Ukraine Drought May Curb Output; Soybeans Rise

Wheat rose on speculation that drought in Ukraine will curb production and soybeans and corn gained as dry weather may hurt output in South America.

Winter wheat emerged on 5.14 million hectares (12.7 million acres) in Ukraine as of Dec. 8, down 22 percent from a year earlier after the driest autumn in at least 50 years, UkrAgroConsult said Dec. 12. Parts of Argentina and Brazil will have hot weather this weekend, increasing stress to corn and soybeans, Telvent DTN Inc. said yesterday.

“The effects of the dryness on winter wheat emergence have been large with crop prospects materially diminished in the Ukraine,” said Nick Higgins, an analyst at Rabobank International in London. “It’s too early to be calling a drought in South America. It has been dry and the near-term forecasts do not look promising.”

Wheat for March delivery gained 0.8 percent to $5.8525 a bushel by 2 p.m. London time on the Chicago Board of Trade. Futures are set for a 26 percent loss this year. Milling wheat for March delivery on NYSE Liffe in Paris gained 0.8 percent to 178 euros ($232) a metric ton. The price is down 30 percent this year.

Soybeans for delivery in March gained 0.8 percent to $11.185 a bushel in Chicago. Futures are headed for a 20 percent decline in 2011, the first annual loss in three years. Corn for March delivery was unchanged at $5.8075 a bushel. The price has dropped 7.7 percent this year.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net.

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