Wheat Falls as Favorable Weather Boosts U.S. Crop Prospects

April 22 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat fell for the first time in three days as favorable weather conditions raised prospects for the winter crop in the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter of the grain.

As much as an inch (2.5 centimeters) of rain has fallen in parts of Kansas, the biggest U.S. winter-wheat producing state, since yesterday, said analyst Larry Glenn. More is expected through tomorrow, he said. About 69 percent of the U.S. crop was rated good or excellent as of April 18, up from 43 percent a year earlier, government data show.

“Wheat drinks a lot of water when it’s growing, so that’ll help,” said Glenn, who works for Frontier Ag in Quinter, Kansas. “The conditions are already high but that’ll make them better. It looks like all of Kansas will get some moisture today. The moisture event is good for growing.”

Wheat futures for July delivery fell 2.5 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $4.9725 a bushel at 10:10 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Before today, the most-active contract dropped 7.7 percent this year because of reduced demand for U.S. grain and rising global stockpiles.

Wheat is the fourth-biggest U.S. crop, valued at $10.6 billion in 2009, 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.