Wheat futures fell the most in more than a week after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said global inventories will be bigger than forecast last month. Soybeans also declined.
World stockpiles of wheat before this year’s Northern Hemisphere harvest will total 182.26 million metric tons, more than the 178.23 million forecast in March, the USDA said. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expected 178.82 million. Prices have plunged into a bear market, down 26 percent from last year’s closing peak, on signs that global demand is slowing and that farmers will boost output in the next year.
“The wheat global balance sheet was outright bearish with the upward revision to old-crop stocks,” Terry Reilly, a senior commodity analyst for Futures International LLC in Chicago, said in an e-mailed report.
Wheat futures for July delivery fell 1.5 percent to settle at $7.03 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since April 1. The price is down 9.6 percent this year.
China’s wheat stockpiles may total 58.75 million tons, up 5.4 percent from last month’s estimate, the USDA said. Inventories held by North African countries including Egypt, the biggest importer, will be 9 percent higher than forecast at 10.78 million tons, the agency said. The estimate for European Union stockpiles was raised 5.5 percent to 10.04 million tons.
Reserves in the U.S., the world’s largest exporter, will total 731 million bushels, up from 716 million seen in March and 730 million forecast by analysts.
Soybean futures for May delivery fell 0.2 percent to $13.9275 a bushel, the first decline in three days. The most-active contract is down 1.2 percent this year.