Wheat Prices Rebound as Dollar Slump May Spur U.S. Grain Exports

Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat futures rose for the first time this week as the dollar slumped, improving the prospects for exports from the U.S., the world’s largest shipper.

The dollar dropped the most since July 1 against a basket of six major currencies, after jumping yesterday when China raised interest rates. The Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 raw materials climbed as much as 2.1 percent. U.S. wheat export inspections for the week ended Oct. 14 were 9.3 percent larger than a year earlier, government data show.

“A cheaper dollar means it’s cheaper for other countries to buy our stuff,” said Jeff McReynolds, the owner of McReynolds Marketing and Investments in Hays, Kansas. “Yesterday was a bad day for commodities in general, and today looks to be a good day for commodities in general, with the dollar being the primary factor.”

Wheat futures for December delivery rose 11.5 cents, or 1.7 percent, to settle at $6.83 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. That’s the biggest gain since Oct. 8. Futures dropped 4.7 percent in the previous two days.

Rain may fall in wheat-growing areas in the Great Plains and Midwest in the next five days, with parts of Kansas, the biggest winter-wheat producer, expected to receive as much as 0.5 inch (1.3 centimeters), according to T-Storm Weather LLC.

“It sounds like there’s a real good chance of some meaningful precipitation out here, and we definitely need it,” McReynolds said.

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: Whitney McFerron in Chicago at wmcferron1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net