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Wheat Trades Near Eight-Month Low as Kansas Snowfall Aids Crops

Wheat traded near the lowest in almost eight months and headed for the biggest weekly decline since Jan. 4 amid optimism that snowfall in Kansas may improve crop conditions in the largest U.S. grower of winter varieties.

While futures rose 0.2 percent to $7.255 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade by 9:45 a.m. in Singapore, they are set for a 3.1 percent slide this week, the fifth such drop. Volume was 50 percent less than the 100-day average for this time of day. Prices fell to $7.225 yesterday, matching the low on Feb. 13, which was the cheapest since June 25.

A storm that has already forced shutdowns of government offices in Kansas, may bring 20 inches of snow by the time it passes east out of the state, National Weather Service data show. The snow that’s arriving at a critical time, just before plants emerge from dormancy, “will help greatly,” Gail Martell, a meteorologist and the president of Martell Crop Projections in Milwaukee said.

“The trade refocused on improving U.S. field conditions, rather than the recent improvement in trade conditions” Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said in a report e-mailed today, referring to the latest U.S. export sales.

Exporters in the U.S., the world’s largest shipper of wheat, sold 55,000 metric tons of the soft, red winter variety for delivery in the year ending May 30, and a further 55,000 tons for delivery in the year starting June 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday.

Soybeans for May delivery added 0.1 percent to $14.725 in Chicago, taking the weekly gain to 4.1 percent. Corn was little changed at $6.86 a bushel. That puts the price of soybeans at 2.14 times the price of corn, compared with a 10-year average of 2.43 times. The crops compete for acreage.

To contact the reporter on this story: Luzi Ann Javier in Singapore at ljavier@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net

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