Wheat Gains as Worsening U.S. Winter-Crop Condition Dims Outlook

Wheat climbed for the first time in three days after the government said winter-crop conditions worsened in the U.S., the largest shipper, reigniting concern that production will suffer. Corn and soybeans advanced.

Wheat for delivery in July rose as much as 0.8 percent to $7.085 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, after losing 3.5 percent in the past two days. Futures were at $7.06, up 0.5 percent, by 9:42 a.m. in Singapore on volume that was 48 percent below the 100-day average for that time of day.

About 32 percent of the winter-wheat crop was rated good- to-excellent as of May 5, down from 33 percent a week earlier and 63 percent a year earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Some 23 percent of the spring-variety was planted, behind last year’s 82 percent and an average of 50 percent in the previous five years, the USDA said yesterday.

“The USDA’s weekly crop progress report showed a further deterioration in the U.S. winter-wheat crop conditions and underlined the slow pace of spring wheat seeding,” Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, wrote in a report e-mailed today.

Corn for July delivery gained as much as 0.6 percent to $6.405 a bushel in Chicago, before trading at $6.3775. Planting of corn in the U.S., the largest grower, was 12 percent complete in the week ended May 5, the slowest pace for that week since 1984, according to the USDA.

The slow pace of planting “should ensure production concerns remain a feature of the corn market over the next week or so,” Mathews said.

Soybeans for July delivery advanced 0.3 percent to $13.7375 a bushel. About 2 percent of the soybean crop was seeded, trailing the average of 12 percent for that week in the previous five years, a USDA report showed.

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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