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Wheat Has Longest Slump in Seven Weeks on Supply Outlook

Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat fell, capping the longest slump in seven weeks, on speculation that U.S. stockpiles are higher than the government estimated last month.

Inventories may be 717 million bushels, according to a Bloomberg News survey. That compares with 716 million forecast by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in January. The agency will update its figures on Feb. 8. The government may raise its estimates for stockpiles of corn, also used to make animal feed, the survey of at least 29 analysts showed.

“The traders don’t have a willingness to buy wheat,” Dennis DeLaughter, a market analyst at grain broker Vantage RM in Houston, said in a telephone interview. “Wheat is not a fun market. The USDA report is going to have some impact on prices.”

Wheat futures for March delivery slumped 0.7 percent to settle at $7.575 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price dropped for the fourth straight session, the longest slump since mid-December. Earlier, the grain touched $7.51, the lowest for a most-active contract since Jan. 11.

Rain in the southern Great Plains may alleviate dry conditions caused by the most-severe drought since the 1930s, Telvent DTN said in a report. Parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, the biggest U.S. producer of winter wheat, might get precipitation.

Wheat is the fourth-largest U.S. 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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