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Wheat Rises to Four-Month High on Signs of Higher Demand

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Oct. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat futures climbed to the highest in almost four months on signs of increasing demand for supplies from Europe and the U.S., the world’s top exporter. Corn and soybeans fell.

In the week ended Oct. 10, U.S. wheat inspected for export more than tripled to 25.287 million bushels from a year earlier, the Department of Agriculture said yesterday. As of Oct. 15, licenses for soft-wheat shipments in the European Union reached 8.02 million metric tons for the season that started July 1, the fastest pace in 10 years.

“Global buyers are coming into the market to secure supplies,” Shawn McCambridge, the senior grain analyst at Prudential Bache LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. That’s “helping to lift prices,” he said.

Wheat futures for delivery in December jumped 2.9 percent to close at $7.0575 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price reached $7.065, the highest for a most-active contract since June 21. The grain, up for the fifth straight week, has declined 9.3 percent this year.

Cold weather and a lack of rain are hurting crops in Argentina, where production may fall to 8.8 million tons, the country’s Agriculture Ministry reported yesterday. That compared with 12 million tons forecast by the USDA in September.

As much as 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain during the next week in parts of Brazil will cause some minor damage to mature wheat, while boosting soil moisture for early development of recently planted corn and soybeans, the Commodity Weather Group LLC said in a report.

Corn futures for December delivery declined 0.3 percent to $4.415 a bushel in Chicago.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 0.2 percent to $12.9125 a bushel.

Corn and soybeans rose 1.9 percent this week as rain delayed U.S. harvesting and farmers withheld supplies, boosting cash premiums processors and livestock producers paid to acquire prompt supplies.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Wilson in Chicago at jwilson29@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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