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Wheat Drops to Five-Month Low as Wet Weather Boosts U.S. Crop

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Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat fell to the lowest in more than five months on speculation that wet weather will improve the condition of the U.S. winter crop.

Parts of the eastern Midwest, where low-protein, soft-red winter wheat that’s traded in Chicago is grown, will receive “moderate to locally heavy rain” today, forecaster DTN said in a report. Snowfall in parts of northern Kansas and southern Nebraska, where hard-red winter varieties are grown, also may boost crop prospects, DTN said. Prices have jumped 21 percent in 2012 as dry weather reduced production.

“There’s a little more moisture” in growing areas, Jason Britt, the president of brokerage Central States Commodities Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri, said by telephone. Some investors may be selling contracts and closing positions before the end of the year, Britt said.

Wheat futures for March delivery fell 1.9 percent to settle at $7.905 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, prices touched $7.825, the lowest since July 3.

Corn futures for March delivery fell 0.9 percent to $6.965 a bushel in Chicago. The price earlier touched $6.875, the lowest since July 11.

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

To contact the reporter on this story: Tony C. Dreibus in Chicago at tdreibus@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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