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Wheat Falls as Moisture May Ease Drought Stress in U.S. Plains

Wheat fell for a fourth day in Chicago on speculation moisture in the next week will ease drought conditions for winter crops in the U.S. Great Plains.

Areas of the central and southern plains may see some rain tomorrow, followed by light precipitation early next week, forecaster DTN said. All of Kansas and Oklahoma, the top winter wheat-growing states, were experiencing severe to exceptional drought as of Jan. 22, the U.S. Drought Monitor showed. At the end of November, crops were in the worst condition since records began in 1985, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“The most recent weather forecasts have rain falling in Kansas early next week,” economist Dennis Gartman said today in his daily Gartman Letter. “The winter-wheat crop needs that moisture badly.”

Wheat for delivery in March slid 0.3 percent to $7.66 a bushel at 6:59 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, set for a 3.2 percent weekly drop. In Paris, milling wheat for the same delivery month declined 0.2 percent to 246.25 euros ($331.38) a metric ton on NYSE Liffe.

Soybeans for delivery in March fell 0.2 percent to $14.3275 a bushel in Chicago, after rising as much as 0.5 percent. Futures were 0.2 percent higher this week and on course for the first monthly advance since August. Corn for the same delivery month decreased 0.1 percent to $7.235 a bushel, heading for a 0.5 percent decline this week.

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