Wheat futures rose, capping the longest rally in almost four months, after the U.S. Department of Agriculture cut its forecast for domestic stockpiles by 13 percent amid rising exports.
Inventories will be 576 million bushels in the year that started on June 1, down from 659 million projected last month, the government said. The export forecast jumped 10 percent, while the production estimate rose 1.6 percent, Last week, shipments from the U.S. more than doubled from a week earlier, the USDA said in a separate report, while China bought 1.32 million metric tons since July 3.
“The potential is there for bigger exports, and combining that with the China news and outstanding export sales today, it adds a little fire for everybody” betting on a rally, Jason Britt, the president of Central States Commodities Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri, said in a telephone interview.
Wheat futures for September delivery rose 0.6 percent to settle at $6.83 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price rose for the fourth straight session, the longest advance since March 14. Earlier, the grain jumped as much as 2.1 percent.
Export sales by the U.S., the world’s top shipper, surged to 1.47 million tons in the week that ended on July 4 from 593,000 tons a week earlier. Analysts forecast sales of 550,000 tons to 1.5 million tons.
The USDA’s estimate for China’s imports more than doubled to 8.5 million tons from the June forecast.
Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, hay and wheat, USDA data show.