Wheat futures jumped to a four-week high on speculation that China, the world’s biggest consumer, will increase imports to curb record domestic prices. Corn and soybeans also rose.
China may sell grain from stockpiles and ask state-owned companies to import more to curb rising prices, Shi Wei, an analyst for Shanghai JC Intelligence Co., said today. Wheat in central Henan province rose 3.4 percent this month to a record 2,760 yuan ($451) a metric ton, data from China National Grain & Oils Information Center show. China may triple imports this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Sept. 12.
“Record prices in China may increase demand” for U.S. wheat exports, Jason Britt, the president of Central States Commodities Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri, said in a telephone interview. “It looks like China may become more aggressive importing wheat.”
Wheat futures for delivery in December jumped 1.9 percent to close at $6.705 a bushel at 1:15 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest gain since Aug. 26. Earlier, the most-active contract touched $6.75, the highest since Aug. 26.
Prices gained for a third day on speculation that a USDA report this month will show Sept. 1 inventories fell 7.6 percent from a year earlier. Traders surveyed by Bloomberg said supplies totaled 1.945 billion bushels, on average, down from 2.105 billion a year earlier.
“Demand is sneaking up, and supplies are getting a little smaller,” Britt said.
Corn futures for December delivery added 1.3 percent to $4.5475 a bushel in Chicago. The most-active contract yesterday dropped to $4.48, the lowest since Aug. 14.
Soybean futures for November delivery rose 0.7 percent to $13.2175 a bushel on the CBOT.
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