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Wheat gains as rain delays FSU planting

10/07/2013 @ 12:41pm

Wheat futures gained for the fourth time in five sessions as wet weather slowed planting in Russia and Ukraine, which is expected to reduce production in the countries. Corn rose while soybeans declined.

Russian winter grain planting will probably total 13 million hectares, down 19% from what was originally planned, after excessive rainfall kept farmers out of fields, the agriculture ministry said Monday. As of Oct. 4, only 8 million hectares were planted, according to the ministry. Wet weather has also delayed seeding in Ukraine. Declining global production may mean increased demand for wheat from the U.S., the world's largest exporter of the grain.

"Russian and Ukrainian winter crops ... are being planted now -- they had some trouble getting them in the ground because they've been too wet, and now it's turning cold," said Terry Roggensack, an agriculture specialist at The Hightower Report, an independent researcher in Chicago. "There are plenty of traders who believe the damage has been done in Russia and Ukraine."

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Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures for December delivery rose 5 3/4 cents, or 0.8%, to $6.93 a bushel. Wheat on Thursday gained to the highest intraday price for a front-month contract since June 21.

U.S. wheat exports from June 1 through Sept. 19 were 40% higher than the prior year, according to the Department of Agriculture. Sales to Brazil have increased after Argentina, the usual supplier of grain to its South American neighbor, stopped exporting wheat in a bid to increase domestic supplies.

Corn futures for December delivery on the CBOT gained 4 1/4 cents, or 0.9%, to $4.47 1/2 a bushel. Little harvest progress was made over the weekend as storms in the U.S. Midwest spawned tornadoes and kept farmers out of fields, which should be supportive for prices, said Tomm Pfitzenmaier, a partner at Summit Commodity Brokerage in Des Moines, Iowa.

Soybeans for November delivery fell 2 3/4 cents, or 0.2%, to $12.92 1/2 a bushel in Chicago.

Write to Tony Dreibus at tony.dreibus@wsj.com
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 07, 2013 10:51 ET (14:51 GMT)
DJ Wheat Gains as Wet Weather Curbs Russia, Ukraine Output; Corn Rises->copyright

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