Wheat futures fell from a four-month high on signs that demand ebbed for exports from the U.S., the world’s biggest shipper. Corn declined, while soybeans rose.
U.S. exporters reported sales of 476,918 metric tons of wheat in the week ended March 6, down 14 percent from a week earlier and 46 percent from a year earlier, Department of Agriculture data showed today. Yesterday, futures entered a bull market as supplies from Argentina and Canada dropped, while escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine triggered concerns that Black Sea shipments will be delayed.
“The wheat rally is exaggerated, and demand has begun to slow,” Tom Leffler, the owner of Leffler Commodities LLC in Augusta, Kansas, said in a telephone interview. “U.S. exports will continue to slow.”
Wheat futures for May delivery fell 1.5 percent to close at $6.7375 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price reached $6.965, the highest for a most-active contract since Oct. 25.
Russia is the fifth-largest shipper, followed by Ukraine.
Urkaine’s Crimean region will hold a referendum on March 16 on joining Russia. Amid months of political unrest, Ukraine’s grain exports were normal and planting was ahead of the average pace, UkrAgroConsult, a research company in Kiev, said this week.
Wheat also fell on speculation that demand for the grain in livestock feed will ebb after the premium over corn rose yesterday to the highest Dec. 16, Leffler of Leffler Commodities said.
Corn futures for May delivery dropped 0.7 percent to $4.85 a bushel. On March 7, the price reached $5.055, the highest since Aug. 27.
Soybean futures for May delivery increased 0.7 percent to $13.9625 a bushel, snapping a three-day slump.