Wheat Futures Decline as France Increases Stockpiles Forecast

Wheat futures fell for a second day after France raised its stockpiles outlook by 17 percent from a December estimate.

France will have 2.29 million metric tons of soft wheat in storage on June 30, up from 1.96 million tons forecast last month, the crops office, known as FranceAgriMer, said today. Through yesterday, prices in Chicago plunged 13 percent since the end of November, partly on expectations for larger global stockpiles.

“The French farm office raised their ending stocks for wheat and maize just a little while ago,” Mike Zuzolo, the president of Global Commodity Analytics in Lafayette, Indiana, said in an e-mail.

Wheat futures for March delivery slid 0.4 percent to $7.475 a bushel at 11:04 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price on Jan. 4 fell to $7.3975, the lowest in six months.

Investment funds tracking commodity indexes may be selling agriculture holdings as weightings shift for the Standard & Poor’s GSCI and Dow Jones-UBS Commodity gauges, Louise Gartner, the owner of Spectrum Commodities in Beavercreek, Ohio, said by telephone.

“The index funds are rebalancing, which includes selling a lot of Chicago wheat,” she said. “There’s been huge fund liquidation over the last month, but the first of the year is mostly index fund portfolio rebalancing.”

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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