Wheat, Corn Set for Best Weekly Gains Since July on Crop ConcernPhoebe Sedgman and Whitney McFerron
Wheat and corn headed for the biggest weekly advances since July as planting in the U.S., the largest exporter of the grains, slowed and crop conditions deteriorated on wet and cold weather. Soybeans climbed.
Wheat output in Kansas, the biggest U.S. grower of winter varieties, will fall 18 percent in 2013 to 313.1 million bushels after drought last year was followed by an April freeze, surveys from a three-day annual crop tour showed. Production in Oklahoma may decline 45 percent from a year earlier. Just 5 percent of the U.S. corn crop was planted as of April 28, below the five-year average of 31 percent, Department of Agriculture data show.
“The key driver remains the less-than-favorable weather we’re seeing in many parts of the world, headlined by the particularly slow pace of planting in the U.S. corn belt,” Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said by phone from Sydney.
Wheat for July delivery rose 0.7 percent to $7.335 a bushel by 6:48 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, set to gain 5.9 percent this week. Corn for July delivery climbed 0.3 percent to $6.6375 a bushel, headed for a 7.1 percent advance this week. Corn settled at $6.62 yesterday, the highest close for the most-active contract since March 28.
Much of the Great Plains and western Midwest were under freeze warnings or winter weather advisories today, with temperatures in parts of Kansas expected to drop as low as 25 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 3.9 degrees Celsius), according to the National Weather Service. Kansas City was expected to receive its first measurable snow in May since 1907, while as much as 4 inches (10.2 centimeters) of snow were possible in Iowa, the biggest corn-growing state.
Soybeans for July delivery gained 0.3 percent to $13.7575 a bushel, trimming a second weekly decline.
In Paris, milling wheat for November delivery rose 0.5 percent to 213.75 euros ($280) a metric ton on NYSE Liffe.