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Wheat Rises as China Purchases U.S. Grain; Corn, Soy Gain

April 8 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat futures rose to a one-week high following a report that China bought about 960,000 metric tons of the grain from the U.S., where low temperatures threatened winter crops. Corn and soybeans also advanced.

China, the top wheat consumer, bought the soft red-winter variety last week, state-owned Grain.gov.cn said today in a report without disclosing its sources. Shipments from the Gulf of Mexico will be from June to December, according to the report. Cold expected this week in the southern U.S. Great Plains may curb yields, Commodity Weather Group said.

“We have China in the market for U.S. wheat,” which probably is for livestock feed, Dewey Strickler, the president of Ag Watch Market Advisers in Franklin, Kentucky, said in a telephone interview. “We have some cold and dry conditions in the southern Plains. Those things do not hurt the price of wheat.”

On the Chicago Board of Trade, wheat futures for May delivery rose 1.9 percent to settle at $7.125 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. Earlier, the price reached $7.16, the highest for a most-active contract since March 28. The commodity has dropped 8.4 percent this year. The U.S. is the top exporter.

Temperatures may drop below freezing this week in parts of Kansas and Oklahoma, the biggest U.S. producers of winter wheat, and the cold may lead to “spotty winterkill” in some fields, Commodity Weather Group in Bethesda, Maryland, said.

Corn futures for May delivery rose 0.7 percent to $6.335 a bushel in Chicago. Last week, the price plunged 9.5 percent, a record for the contract, as U.S. demand ebbed and farmers prepare to boost output this year.

Soybean futures advanced 1.2 percent to $13.78 a bushel, the biggest gain since March 21. The oilseed has dropped 2.2 percent this year.

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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