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Wheat Gains as Dryness in U.S., Rains in Australia Hurt Crops

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Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat rose for a third day in Chicago on concern that dry weather in the U.S. may hurt the crop in the world’s largest exporter and rains might delay harvesting in Australia, causing reduced quality.

Hard red winter-wheat areas in the U.S. will stay dry over the next week, said Mike Tannura, a meteorologist and agricultural economist at T-Storm Weather LLC, in an e-mail today. Recent rains may extend harvesting delays by up to two weeks in some Australian growing regions, according to GrainCorp Ltd., eastern Australia’s largest grain handler.

“We’re seeing negative weather out of Australia, in terms of quality,” Michael Pitts, commodity sales director at National Australia Bank Ltd., said by phone from Sydney. “There’s also the continued dryness” in the U.S., he said.

Wheat for March delivery gained 5.25 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $6.925 a bushel at 1:14 p.m. London time on the Chicago Board of Trade. The grain has jumped 44 percent since the end of June as the worst Russian drought in a half-century curbed production and caused the country to ban cereal exports.

Australia, the fourth-largest wheat exporter, will increase sales of feed-grade supplies this season as rainfall cuts the quality of the harvest, AWB Ltd., the country’s largest shipper, said Nov. 16.

Milling wheat for January delivery traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris advanced 0.8 percent to 220 euros ($289.28) a metric ton.

Corn and soybeans climbed in Chicago on speculation dry weather in Argentina will further delay planting and reduce output amid signs of increasing demand from importers. The weather will be drier than normal in the next 10 days, limiting crop development, T-Storm’s Tannura said.

Corn for March delivery rose 2.5 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $5.555 a bushel. The grain has advanced 34 percent this year, partly because dry weather in August curbed U.S. production.

Soybeans for January delivery gained 2 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $12.405 a bushel. The oilseed has jumped 12 percent since the end of September on rising Chinese demand.

To contact the reporters on this story: Luzi Ann Javier in Singapore at ljavier@bloomberg.net; Tony C. Dreibus in London at tdreibus@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net.

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