Wheat Rises as Rain to Curb Russian, Ukraine Output; Corn Gains

Wheat futures rose the most in more than a week on speculation that wet weather will curtail production in Russia and Ukraine, boosting demand for U.S. supplies. Corn and soybeans also gained.

Russia may plant 13 million hectares of grain for harvest next year, down from 16 million expected earlier, Nikolai Fedorov, the agriculture minister said at a news conference today. Ukraine winter-wheat planting may be 30 percent less than targeted after record rainfall, the national weather center in Kiev said Sept. 27.

“The drop in planted area in Russia and Ukraine will continue to provide support for the market,” Shawn McCambridge, the senior grain analyst for Jefferies Bache LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “A further rally in prices may begin to slow demand.”

Wheat futures for delivery in December increased 1.1 percent to $6.9475 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest gain since Sept. 26.

Corn and soybeans rose in Chicago amid speculation the U.S. harvest will slow after wet weather in the Midwest, reducing farmer supplies available for processors and meat producers. Rain in the past week topped 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) in areas of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota, National Weather Service data show.

Twelve percent of the corn harvest was complete as of Sept. 29, compared with 23 percent on average the prior five years, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data before the federal government shutdown. Soybean gathering was 11 percent done, up from 3 percent.

Corn futures for delivery in December jumped 1.4 percent to $4.4925 a bushel in Chicago, the biggest gain since Sept. 6.

Soybean futures for delivery in November added 0.1 percent to $12.965 a bushel on the CBOT, capping the fourth straight rise, the longest rally since Aug. 15.

The USDA’s scheduled update of global supply and demand forecasts on Oct. 11 will be delayed by the government’s partial shutdown that began Oct. 1, a spokeswoman said today.

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