Wheat futures jumped the most in seven weeks after a government report showed export sales jumped to a two-month high in the U.S., the world’s biggest shipper. Soybean and corn prices climbed.
In the week ended Feb. 28, exporters sold 828,051 metric tons of wheat, up 58 percent from a week earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today. Demand increased after prices through yesterday dropped 12 percent this year, while snowstorms eased drought conditions in the Great Plains.
“Export sales were pretty big,” Louise Gartner, the owner of Spectrum Commodities in Beavercreek, Ohio, said in a telephone interview. “We’ve had pretty impressive sales numbers the past couple of months.”
Wheat futures for May delivery gained 1.7 percent to settle at $6.955 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest increase for a most-active contract since Jan. 15.
Soybean futures for May delivery rose 0.5 percent to $14.735 a bushel, the highest settlement in a month.
Corn futures for May delivery rose 0.4 percent to $6.9125 a bushel. Earlier, the price fell as much as 0.9 percent.
At terminals near Kansas City, wheat was 39 cents a bushel below corn, USDA data show. In 2011, wheat traded above corn by an average 34 cents. The current discount may encourage livestock producers to use more wheat in feed, Gartner said.
Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $77.4 billion in 2012, followed by soybeans at $43.2 billion, government figures show. Wheat is the fourth-largest at $17.9 billion, behind hay.