Wheat rose to a five-week high on speculation that planting of spring varieties in the U.S. will be limited by cold, wet weather in the northern Great Plains. Corn reached a seven-week high, and soybeans gained.
A flood warning is in effect in some regions of North Dakota, the largest U.S. grower of spring wheat, according to the National Weather Service. In the southern Plains, drought conditions are threatening crops in parts of Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma, government data show. Analysts expected planting of all wheat varieties to rise 1 percent to 56.32 million acres in 2013, a Bloomberg survey showed last week.
Seeding “could come in below expectations due to the unfavorable weather that we’ve been seeing in the northern spring-wheat states,” Terry Reilly, a senior commodity analyst at Chicago-based Futures International LLC, said in a telephone interview. “The outlook calls for a wet and cold bias for the northern spring-wheat states, and some producers may take that into account and switch over to other crops, such as hay.”
Wheat futures for May delivery added 0.7 percent to close at $7.3675 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching $7.4075, the highest for a most-active contract since Feb. 21. Prices are up 3.1 percent this month.
Corn futures for May delivery advanced 0.7 percent to $7.3525 a bushel in Chicago, after reaching $7.3775, the highest for a most-active contract since Feb. 4. Prices are up 4.5 percent this month.
Soybean futures for May delivery rose 0.4 percent to $14.5375 a bushel on the CBOT.