Friday, January 18, 2019
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Wheat Heads for Third Weekly Gain as Drought Hurts Crop

Wheat rose, heading for a third weekly gain in Chicago, on signs that crops in the U.S. Great Plains were damaged by dry, cold weather in recent months.

Wheat yields in Kansas, the top producing state for winter varieties, may be 33.2 bushels an acre this year, the lowest since 2001, according to findings from the Wheat Quality Council's annual tour of fields in the state. The harvest was pegged at 260.7 million bushels, down 18 percent from last year and the lowest since 1996. Ninety-nine percent of the state is experiencing moderate to extreme drought, according to a U.S. Drought Monitor assessment released yesterday.

"Scouts on the annual wheat tour reported yield potential in the northern parts of Kansas the worst for 13 years, following months of drought, a near-Arctic winter and the mid-April freeze," David Sheppard, a managing director at Gainsborough, England-based Gleadell Agriculture Ltd., said in an e-mailed note. "Reports from Colorado and Oklahoma projected crops in better condition but with no more than average yields prospects."

Wheat for July delivery rose 0.9 percent to $7.1375 a bushel at 4:58 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, set for a 0.8 percent gain this week. Prices have climbed 18 percent this year on the U.S. production outlook and concern that unrest in Ukraine would disrupt Black Sea region supplies. In Paris, milling wheat for November delivery fell 0.2 percent to 205 euros ($284.10) a metric ton on Euronext.
Planting Prospects

Soybeans for July delivery rose 0.3 percent to $14.6575 a bushel in Chicago, after earlier dropping to $14.51, the lowest since April 14. Prices tumbled 3.4 percent yesterday as dry weather in the Midwest improved prospects for planting. Soybeans also fell as U.S. exporters reported a net cancellation of 16,421 tons in the week ended April 24, the first drop since August, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

About 3 percent of the soybean crop was planted as of April 27, compared with the five-year average of 4 percent, the USDA said April 28. Corn was 19 percent planted, less than the 28 percent average in the prior five years, it said.

Corn for July delivery rose 0.3 percent to $5.0875 a bushel, erasing an earlier 0.6 percent decline. Prices are set to decrease 0.8 percent this week, while remaining 21 percent higher since the start of the year.

To contact the reporters on this story: Whitney McFerron in London at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. John Deane, Randall Hackley


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Contributing Editors

  • adrian muller has conducted seminars for the chicago board of trade, including a key series in 1999 which cautioned about a top in the equity markets (see his article “top experts and statistics on the dow”). adrian muller has appeared on cable tv financial programs with analysis on the futures markets and equity market directional forecasts. he has been quoted in barron's, the wall street journal, and futures magazine.

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