Wheat, Soybeans Rise on U.S. Export Demand; Corn Declines

Wheat and soybean futures gained after a government report showed export demand increased from the U.S., the world’s biggest shipper. Corn fell.

U.S. exporters sold 572,545 metric tons of wheat in the week ended Jan. 17, up 6.8 percent from a week earlier and the most in five weeks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a report. Sales of soybean oil doubled from a week earlier, and soybean-meal rose 76 percent from a year earlier.

“Foreign buyers are turning to U.S. wheat because it is the cheapest available on the world market,” Jim Gerlach, the president of A/C Trading Co. in Fowler, Indiana, said in a telephone interview. “Exports of meal and oil continue to be very strong, and that is driving U.S. processor demand for soybeans.”

Wheat futures for March delivery climbed 1 percent to close at $7.765 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, ending a three-session slump. The grain fell 1.9 percent this week.

Soybean futures for March delivery rose 0.4 percent to $14.41 a bushel. This week, the oilseed advanced 0.8 percent, the third straight gain, after the USDA said on Jan. 11 that inventories dropped to a nine-year low.

Corn futures for March delivery fell 0.5 percent to $7.2075 a bushel. This week, the grain dropped 0.9 percent on speculation that precipitation will boost crops in South America.

Soil moisture improved after rain in the past 24 hours in parts of Brazil and Argentina, World Weather Inc. in Overland Park, Kansas, said in a report. Another storm beginning Jan. 30 will reach some of the driest areas of northern Argentina and southern Brazil, the forecaster said.

“South America weather is not yield threatening,” Don Roose, the president of U.S. Commodities Inc. in West Des Moines, Iowa, said in a telephone interview. “Every day, we get closer to big crops in South America and reduced demand for U.S. supplies.”

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