Wheat Futures Decline in Chicago as Rainfall Boosts U.S. Crops

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat fell to the lowest price this month as planting in the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter, progresses with ample rainfall in key areas.

About 21 percent of the fields were seeded in Kansas, the biggest winter-wheat producer, as of Sept. 26, up from 11 percent a week earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday. The U.S. crop was 33 percent planted, up from 20 percent. While the figures are behind the average pace of the previous five years, there’s no need for concern, said Larry Glenn, an analyst at Frontier Ag in Quinter, Kansas.

“We’re not going to be delayed because the wheat is in different stages right now,” Glenn said. “Some guys are stopping the harvest to let the corn dry down, and then wheat planting is starting. For the most part, the state of Kansas is going to be in decent shape for moisture.”

Wheat futures for December delivery fell 21.75 cents, or 3.1 percent, to close at $6.8475 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the commodity touched $6.845, the lowest level since Aug. 31.

The price is up 43 percent since the end of June as wet weather curbed production in Canada and the worst drought in 50 years hurt Russian crops.

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.