Wheat futures fell to the lowest since June as rain boosted prospects for the U.S. winter crop set to emerge from dormancy. Corn prices tumbled the most in five months.
As much as six times the normal amount of precipitation fell in the past two weeks from south-central Kansas through Oklahoma and in the Texas Panhandle, National Weather Service data show. Kansas wheat was rated 24 percent good or excellent as of March 3, up 1 percentage point from a week earlier, and 16 percent of Oklahoma crops got top ratings, up from 9 percent, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on March 4.
“Crop conditions are improving,” Brian Hoops, the president of Midwest Market Solutions in Springfield, Missouri, said in a telephone interview. “As the plants start coming out of dormancy, people are more optimistic because of the moisture that has fallen.”
Wheat futures for May delivery fell 3.2 percent to settle at $6.8375 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest drop since Dec. 11. Earlier, the price touched $6.80, the lowest for a most-active contract since June 22.
On the Kansas City Board of Trade, wheat futures for May delivery slumped 2.8 percent to $7.245 a bushel, the lowest settlement since June 22. The drop was the biggest since Oct. 12.
Kansas City wheat has slid 13 percent this year, and the Chicago price has declined 12 percent, the most among 24 raw materials in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index.
Corn futures for May delivery fell 2.9 percent to $6.885 a bushel in Chicago, the largest decline since Sept. 17.
Soybean futures for May delivery dropped less than 0.1 percent to $14.66 a bushel.