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Scorching Plains Weather Sends Wheat Futures to 13-Month Highs

Updated: 05/06/2014 @ 3:55pm

Wheat rose to a 13-month high as hot, dry weather continues to harm crops in the U.S. southern Great Plains.

Little or no rain is forecast in most of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas this week, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures are expected to reach 100°F. in parts of the states this week. "There is no significant relief to the drought pattern" in the southern Plains, forecaster DTN said in a Tuesday report.

The annual Wheat Quality Council tour of Kansas last week pegged yields in the state at the lowest in seven years while a separate tour said Oklahoma production will fall to the lowest since 1957 due to the drought.

Wheat futures for May delivery rose 10 1/2 cents, or 1.5%, to $7.31 3/4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the highest settlement price for a front-month contract since March 27, 2013. July wheat gained 10 cents, or 1.4%, to $7.39 a bushel.

Corn futures rose as rainfall later this week will likely slow U.S. planting that is already behind the normal pace. Rising wheat prices also may be boosting corn, analysts said.

Corn futures for May delivery gained 9 3/4 cents, or 1.9%, to $5.13 a bushel and the July contract rose 9 1/2 cents, or 1.9%, to $5.17 1/2 a bushel.

Soybeans declined to the lowest in more than three weeks on speculation that U.S. imports of the oilseeds will increase, making more available to domestic processors.

With U.S. soybean stockpiles forecast at historically low levels at the end of the marketing year August 31, processors who turn soybeans into oil used in cooking and meal to feed animals are looking to Brazil, the world's biggest exporter, for supplies.

Imports of soybeans into the U.S. are forecast at 65 million bushels by the Agriculture Department, up from 35 million last year. That estimate could rise on signs that importers also may be buying soybeans from Canada, said Craig Turner, a senior broker at Daniels Trading in Chicago. Canada said on Monday that domestic stockpiles of the oilseeds dropped 14% from the prior year.

Soybean futures for May delivery dropped 8 cents, or 0.5%, to $14.64 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the lowest closing price for a front-month contract since April 11. Soybeans for July delivery, the most-active contract, declined 3 3/4 cents, or 0.3%, to $14.59 1/2 a bushel.

Write to Tony Dreibus at tony.dreibus@wsj.com
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 06, 2014 15:05 ET (19:05 GMT)
DJ Wheat Jumps to New 13-Month High as Hot, Dry U.S. Weather Persists->copyright

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