Wheat Rises Most in Three Weeks on Bets Demand Will Gain

Wheat futures rose the most in two weeks on speculation that grain demand will rebound after prices this week touched the lowest in 50 months.

Wheat has tumbled 21 percent this year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts that global harvests will rise to a record 719.95 million metric tons. Egypt, the world’s biggest importer, bought U.S. supplies in a tender on Sept. 20. American and French supplies are becoming more competitive against cargoes from the Black Sea region, Amy Reynolds, a senior economist at the International Grains Council in London, said on Sept. 22.

“Corn, wheat and soybeans are all looking for demand,” Helen Pound, a senior commodity specialist at KCG Futures in Minneapolis, said in a telephone interview. “That’s ongoing. When prices come down pretty dramatically, any end-user that is purchasing for a retail product that is a fixed price, the cheaper, cheaper, cheaper prices just adds to their margins.”

Wheat futures for December delivery rose 0.9 percent to close at $4.8025 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since Sept. 5. On Sept. 22, the grain touched $4.695, the lowest since June 30, 2010. The U.S. is the top exporter.

Corn futures for December delivery rose 1.2 percent to $3.295 a bushel, the largest increase since Sept. 15. The price yesterday touched $3.2475, the lowest since June 29, 2010.

Soybean futures for November delivery increased 0.1 percent to $9.3675 a bushel. Yesterday, the oilseed touched $9.31, the lowest since July 8, 2010.

As of Sept. 21, 7 percent of the U.S. corn crop was harvested, down from the average of 15 percent in the previous five years, government data showed on Sept. 22. Three percent of the soybean crop was picked, down from an 8 percent average from 2009 to 2013. The USDA forecast on Sept. 11 that output for the crops will rise to records this year.

“Weather remains ideal for late-maturing crops and great for those that are harvesting,” Matt Ammermann, a commodity risk manager at INTL FCStone, said in a note.

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