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Wheat Futures Rise as Dry Spell Erodes Crop Prospects

Wheat prices gained for a second straight day on speculation that dry weather may curb production in the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter.

Rainfall and snow will miss winter-wheat areas in the Great Plains, forecaster Commodity Weather Group said in a report today. Little or no rain has fallen during the past 30 days in parts of Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas, the biggest U.S. grower of winter wheat, National Weather Service data show.

“They’re dry as far as the eye can see,” Tomm Pfitzenmaier, a partner at Summit Commodity Brokerage in Des Moines, Iowa, said in a telephone interview. “That by itself is going to offer some underlying support for wheat.”

On the Chicago Board of Trade, wheat futures for March delivery gained 0.2 percent to settle at $8.62 a bushel at 2 p.m. For the year, prices still are up 32 percent after the worst U.S. drought in 56 years.

Wheat is the fourth-largest U.S. crop, valued at $14.4 billion in 2011, behind corn, soybeans and hay, government data show.

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