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Weather worries, investors send wheat futures rocketing

02/04/2014 @ 2:19pm

Wheat jumped the most in 10 months as investors who had bet on falling prices bought back their contracts and closed positions on concern that dry weather in Kansas hurt crop conditions.

Winter wheat in January in the state, the biggest U.S. grower of the grain, is rated 35% good or excellent, down from 58% a month earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a Tuesday report. Less than half the normal amount of precipitation fell in Kansas in January, according to the USDA. Money managers who were short by 62,501 contracts may have been buying after the USDA data sparked fears that winter-wheat yields would decline.

Wheat futures for March delivery gained 8 cents, or 1.4%, to $5.63 3/4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest one-day increase since April 3, and highest closing price for a front-month contract since Jan. 8.

Corn rose to the highest price in more than three months on signs of increasing demand for U.S. inventories.

Exporters on Monday sold 113,780 metric tons of corn to unknown buyers, according to the USDA. Shippers sold 1.84 million metric tons of corn in the week that ended on Jan. 23, more than double the amount sold in the prior seven days, and the most since at least Oct. 24, when the USDA combined three weeks worth of sales due to the government shutdown, according to the government.

Chicago Board of Trade corn futures for March delivery gained 6 cents, or 1.4%, to $4.41 3/4 a bushel, the highest closing price since Oct. 23.

Soybeans rose, also on signs of strong demand for U.S. supplies. Inspections of oilseeds shipped to overseas buyers since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1 is up 15% from the same timeframe a year earlier, according to the government.

Soybean futures for March delivery rose 20 1/2 cents, or 1.6%, to $13.13 1/4 a bushel on the CBOT, the highest closing price since Jan. 17.


Write to Tony C. Dreibus at tony.dreibus@wsj.com
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 04, 2014 14:58 ET (19:58 GMT)
DJ Wheat Jumps Most in 10 Months on Kansas Crop Conditions->copyright

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