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Wheat, corn edge higher Wednesday

09/18/2013 @ 10:41am

Wheat futures rose 0.5% on Wednesday on signs of improved demand for U.S. supplies from foreign buyers. Corn gained, while soybeans were little changed.

U.S. exporters shipped 9.86 million metric tons of wheat from the start of the marketing year on June 1 through Sept. 5, a 34% increase from the same period a year earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Brazil has been a big buyer of the grain, and is forecast to import 1.28 million metric tons from the U.S. in the current marketing year, up from 108,000 tons last year, according to the USDA.

Wheat futures through Tuesday had gained 2% since Aug. 14 as demand has improved. Argentina, Brazil's usual supplier of the grain, has stopped shipments in an effort to rebuild domestic stockpiles, forcing importers to seek supplies of hard-red winter wheat--which are higher protein varieties used to make bread--from the U.S.

"Hard-red winter wheat demand is good, and people are talking about reduced acres in Argentina, so if that's the case, Brazil could continue to be in the market," said Chad Henderson, a market analyst with brokerage Prime Agricultural Consultants Inc. in Brookfield, Wis. "We're selling a bunch of hard-red winter wheat."

Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures for December delivery were up 3 cents, or 0.5%, at $6.46 a bushel.

Soybean futures have traded both sides of unchanged Wednesday as traders place bets on how much wet weather in the Midwest this week could improve prospects for a crop hit by drought in recent weeks.

CBOT soybeans for November delivery recently were down 1 cent, or 0.1%, at $13.41 1/2 a bushel. Soybean prices from mid-August through Sept. 13 gained 16% as drought conditions worsened in parts of Iowa and Illinois, the biggest U.S. growers of the oilseed. About 11% of the region was in severe drought as of Sept. 10, meaning crop or pasture losses are likely and water shortages are common, up from 7% just a week earlier, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Corn futures were narrowly higher. CBOT December corn was up 1 1/4 cents, or 0.3%, at $4.55 1/4 a bushel.


Write to Tony Dreibus at tony.dreibus@wsj.com
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 18, 2013 11:05 ET (15:05 GMT)
DJ Wheat Gains as Demand Improves; Corn Edges Higher->copyright


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