Wheat Rebounds as Drop to Near Bear Market Revives Demand

Wheat rebounded as Australia lowered its forecast for production and on speculation that a recent price slump will revive demand.

Output may total 24.6 million metric tons in the 2014-2015, season compared with 24.8 million tons estimated in March, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences said today. Prices earlier touched the lowest since February amid speculation that a U.S. Department of Agriculture report today will show bigger world inventories.

“Prices have fallen enough that U.S. wheat is getting into the realm of being competitive on the world market,” Joe Vaclavik, the president of Standard Grain Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Australia’s crop is a little smaller, and there are some dryness issues in parts of Russia.”

Wheat futures for July delivery rose 0.9 percent to $6.0675 a bushel at 10:01 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching $5.9825, the lowest for a most-active contract since Feb. 28.

Prices yesterday settled at $6.0125, or 19 percent below the 14-month closing high of $7.39 on May 6. A 20 percent drop meets the common definition of a bear market.

The USDA updates its outlook on crop supply and demand at noon in Washington.

Corn futures for December delivery advanced 0.6 percent to $4.4775 a bushel on the CBOT, after yesterday touching $4.4425, the lowest since Feb. 14.

Soybean futures for delivery in November fell 0.5 percent to $12.23 a bushel, heading for the first drop in four sessions.

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