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Wheat Futures Head for Longest Slump in 10 Months

Wheat futures fell, capping the longest slump in 10 months, on speculation that beneficial crop weather in North America will bolster supplies. Corn and soybeans declined.

Wheat has dropped 9.4 percent from a 14-month high on May 6 after the U.S. government projected ample global stockpiles. As much as 75 percent of the winter crop in the Great Plains may get rain in the next week, and warmer, drier weather will aid planting from Minnesota to Saskatchewan, Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, said in a report.

“The weather is looking better to stabilize winter-wheat yields and increase planting in the northern U.S. and most of Canada,” Mark Schultz, the chief analyst at Northstar Commodity Investment Co. in Minneapolis, said in a telephone interview. “No one is scared about shrinking supplies.”

Wheat futures for July delivery fell 0.6 percent to close at $6.7425 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The grain declined for the eighth straight session, the longest slump since July 1. Earlier, the price touched $6.705, the lowest since April 22.

The U.S. is the world’s top shipper and Canadian reserves before this year’s harvest will nearly double to the most in 20 years. On May 6, wheat reached $7.44, the highest since Feb. 21, 2013.

Hedge funds and other large speculators held net bullish wagers of 45,265 futures and options contracts as of May 6, the most since November 2012, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on May 9. Today, Egypt, the biggest importer, bought 60,000 tons of Ukrainian supplies in a tender.

“Funds are getting out of long positions,” Schultz said. “The Egyptian purchase would suggest that Ukraine remains an active exporter, and U.S. wheat is still uncompetitive on price.”

Corn futures for July delivery dropped 0.2 percent to $4.835 a bushel in Chicago, capping a 4.7 percent weekly slide, the biggest since July.

Soybean futures for July delivery fell 0.4 percent to $14.65 a bushel. The oilseed declined 1.5 percent this week.

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