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Wheat Drops to Lowest Since June on Sign of Slowing U.S. Exports

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Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat futures fell to the lowest since June on signs of declining demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter.

Shippers sold 402,439 metric tons in the week through Dec. 27, down 60 percent from the prior week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report today. The Christmas holiday on Dec. 25 and lower prices from other exporters accounted for the decline, said Mike Zuzolo, the president of Global Commodity Analytics & Consulting in Lafayette, Indiana.

Overseas importers are “still able to find lower-priced wheat and more-strategically placed wheat instead of having to come to the U.S.,” Zuzolo said by telephone.

Wheat futures for March delivery slumped 1.1 percent to $7.4725 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching $7.3975, the lowest since June 27. The price has plunged 13 percent since the end of November. This week, the grain dropped 4 percent, the fifth straight decline and the longest slump since October 2011.

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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