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Wheat Futures Fall as USDA Raises Domestic Production Forecast

Wheat fell for the first time in three sessions, reversing a weekly gain, after the U.S. government raised its outlook for domestic production as northern states were less affected by drought than the Midwest.

In the year through May 31, U.S. growers will harvest 2.268 billion bushels of wheat, up 2 percent from a July forecast of 2.224 billion, the Department of Agriculture said in a report today. Production last year totaled 1.999 billion bushels, USDA data show. Yields will average 46.5 bushels an acre, up 2 percent from last month’s estimate, the agency said.

“The U.S. numbers were bigger than what people were expecting,” Larry Glenn, an analyst at Frontier Ag in Quinter, Kansas, said by telephone. “They probably picked up some production on the spring wheat.”

Wheat futures for December delivery dropped 2.8 percent to settle at $9.0125 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, taking the weekly decline to 0.3 percent.

Spring-wheat production in the U.S., mostly in the northern Great Plains, is seen at 499.5 million bushels, up 0.6 percent from last month’s estimate and 9.7 percent from a year earlier, the USDA said. Parts of North Dakota, the biggest U.S. grower of wheat, and Minnesota received twice the normal amount of rainfall in the past month, National Weather Service data show.

Spring-wheat futures for December delivery fell 2.3 percent to $9.4575 a bushel on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange.

Winter-wheat output is seen at 1.683 billion bushels, up 0.8 percent from the July forecast and 13 percent from last year’s drought-damaged crop, according to the report.

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