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Wheat Gains as Russia May Lack Exportable Supply, Corn Climbs

Wheat advanced for the fifth straight day on speculation Russia will slow shipments of the grain through June because of a shortage of exportable supplies. Corn gained as dry weather persists in Argentina.

The major exporting regions of southern Rostov, Krasnodar and Stavropol that accounted for 85 percent of Russia’s more than 18 million metric tons of total grain shipments in July through December will slow exports because they can’t get enough of the grain, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on its website.

“It seems to be quite bullish as they’ve exported too much,” said Jonathan Bouchet, a fund manager at Boman Capital in Geneva. “The market could see higher prices in the following weeks. It’s far from being mega-bullish, but the macro environment and the tensions coming from Iran should stimulate the market.”

Wheat for March delivery advanced 0.7 percent to $6.3825 a bushel by 1:15 p.m. London time on the Chicago Board of Trade. Milling wheat for March delivery was 0.7 percent higher at 207.25 euros ($269) a metric ton on NYSE Liffe in Paris.

Russia’s grain exports reached 19.5 million tons as of today, a record figure for this time of the year, Interfax cited First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov as saying in Stavropol.

Corn advanced for a fifth day, the longest winning streak this year, on speculation of crop losses in Argentina, the second-largest shipper.

South American Dryness

Argentina’s corn harvest will fall to 21.4 million tons in the year beginning March, from a record 23 million tons a year earlier, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization said in a report yesterday. The USDA’s next estimate is due on Feb. 9.

“The continued dry conditions in South America have put a strong bid into the grain markets,” Dennis Gartman, an economist and editor of the Gartman Letter in Suffolk, Virginia, said in his letter today. “Until this weekend, the markets were hopeful for rain upon the Argentine and Brazilian corn and soybean crops. The amounts received were modest at best and scattered at worst.”

Corn for March delivery gained 0.5 percent to $6.335 a bushel in Chicago. A close higher today would represent the longest winning streak since Dec. 28. Soybeans for delivery in March were little changed at $12.185 a bushel in Chicago.

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