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Wheat Set for First Weekly Drop in Four on Record Stocks

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Feb. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat tumbled for a fourth day, heading for the first weekly drop in four, after the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted that global stockpiles would climb to a record. Corn and soybeans also declined.

Inventories on May 31, before the next harvest, will climb to 213.1 million metric tons, 1.5 percent more than estimated last month, the USDA said yesterday. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected a drop. The prior record was set in 1999-2000 when stockpiles reached 210.7 million tons. Wheat prices are down 26 percent in the past year.

“Record ending stocks should be bearish,” said Dave Norris, an independent grain broker in Harrogate, England. “We now have more wheat than we did in 1999-2000, the previous record-high stockpiles until yesterday.”

Wheat for March delivery fell 1.1 percent to $6.39 a bushel by 9:53 a.m. London time on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price earlier reached $6.3825 a bushel, the lowest level since Jan. 30. Futures are set for a 3.3 percent decline this week. Milling wheat for March delivery on NYSE Liffe in Paris fell 1.1 percent to 210.50 euros ($279) a ton.

U.S. corn inventories may total 801 million bushels before this year’s harvest, 1.9 percent more than expected by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. Global stockpiles at 125.35 million tons were bigger than expected, even after the U.S. Department of Agriculture cut its outlook for Argentina’s crop 15 percent from the prior month to 22 million tons.

Corn for March delivery slid 0.3 percent to $6.3525 a bushel in Chicago. The price has declined 1.4 percent this week. March-delivery soybeans fell 0.5 percent to $12.22 a bushel, dropping for a fourth day.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jae Hur in Tokyo at jhur1@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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