Wheat Declines as U.S. Exports Signal Lower Global Demand

Wheat futures fell for the first time in three sessions as export data in the U.S., the world’s biggest shipper, signaled lower global demand.

From June 1 through Jan. 17, exports were 14.5 million metric tons, down 12 percent from a year earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Prices headed for a monthly decline after tumbling 14 percent in the fourth quarter, the most since mid-2011.

“Everybody was saying what great wheat demand we were going to have, and it never did happen,” Tom Leffler, the owner of Leffler Commodities LLC in Augusta, Kansas, said in a telephone interview. “We’re in the second half of the marketing year, and it’s still not happening.”

Wheat futures for March delivery fell 0.3 percent to settle at $7.77 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price gained as much as 0.7 percent.

In the U.S., wheat is the fourth-largest crop, valued at $14.4 billion in 2011, 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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