Wheat Rises as Egypt Grain Buying Revives Demand Outlook

Wheat rose to a one-week high as purchases of U.S. grain by Egypt, the world’s biggest importer, revived prospects for export demand.

Egypt bought 180,000 metric tons today, said Nomani Nomani, vice chairman of country’s state grain buyer. The purchase included 110,000 tons of high-protein, hard-red winter wheat, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report. Japan, Asia’s largest importer after Indonesia, said it plans to buy 121,026 tons from the U.S. and Canada tomorrow. Prices through yesterday were down 6.1 percent this month on concern that shipments had slowed.

“We did a little bit of business with Egypt today, and that shows we are finally competitive again,” Jeff McReynolds, the owner of McReynolds Marketing and Investments in Hays, Kansas, said by telephone. “To get the price back up to where we were before the last supply and demand report, we’re going to have to have a continuation of good export news.”

Wheat futures for delivery in March climbed 0.4 percent to $8.145 a bushel at 10:02 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after reaching $8.2275, the highest since Dec. 12. Prices through yesterday climbed 24 percent this year, the most of the 24 commodities tracked by the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index.

The U.S. is the world’s biggest exporter of the grain.

Wheat production in Argentina, South America’s largest shipper, may fall to 9.4 million tons, 7 percent less than forecast, the Rosario Cereals Exchange said Dec. 14. That’s below the 11.5 million tons predicted by the USDA on Dec. 11.

“In terms of weather, the situation remains very unfavorable for planting in Argentina due to excessive rain,” Paris-based farm adviser Agritel wrote on its website. “Regarding the wheat exports, those could well be suspended.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net or 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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