Wheat Falls for Second Day as Rain Seen Aiding U.S. Crops

Wheat futures fell for the second straight day as a forecast for rain eased crop concerns in the U.S., the world’s largest exporter. Soybeans rose, and corn dropped.

Oklahoma and parts of Kansas and Texas will get as much as to 0.6 inch (1.5 centimeters) of rain today with more expected in the next two weeks, according to Commodity Weather Group in Bethesda, Maryland. Crop conditions in Kansas and Texas deteriorated in the week ended March 23, government data showed on March 24.

“We have been maybe erring on the side of caution and pricing in more damage and some loss,” Frank Cholly, a senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “As the weather improves the condition of the crop, we’ll see prices ease.”

Wheat futures for May delivery fell 1.6 percent to close at $6.9675 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Yesterday, the price dropped 0.9 percent. The grain has climbed 15 percent this year.

The May discount to December futures widened as much as 2.75 cents, or 14 percent, to 22.75 cents after slumping 11 percent yesterday. The May price last traded at a premium to the December contract on Oct. 21.

The discount touched a record 30 cents on Jan. 13, spread trades on the CBOT showed. The May contract is the most-active by open interest, followed by July and December.

As much as 1 inch of rain was forecast in the growing areas of Australia in the next two weeks according to World Ag Weather. The government in early March cut its harvest estimates for this year’s crop amid drought conditions.

Soybean futures for May delivery rose 0.8 percent to $14.40 a bushel. U.S. stockpiles as of March 1 probably fell to a 10-year low for the date, according to a Bloomberg survey.

Corn futures for May delivery dropped 0.4 percent to $4.845 a bushel. The grain has climbed 15 percent this year, while soybeans advanced 11 percent.

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