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.
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