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Wheat jumps on crop worries, USDA positioning

06/27/2013 @ 8:42am

U.S. wheat futures are higher Thursday morning on reports of poor wheat crops in parts of Kansas and positioning ahead of major government crop reports due Friday.

Chicago Board of Trade futures for July delivery are up two cents or 0.3% at $6.69 a bushel. Kansas City Board of Trade July wheat is up three cents or 0.4% at $6.97 1/4 a bushel. MGEX July wheat is up seven cents or 0.9% at $8.06 a bushel.

Farmers are harvesting hard red winter wheat in the southern Plains, and earlier this week analysts cited reports of better-than-expected crop yields in central Oklahoma and central Kansas. But as harvesting proceeds in more areas, traders have become worried about poor yields in western Kansas, where crops were damaged by persistent drought and freeze damage during the spring.

"Yields are so bad," said Brian Hoops, president of advisory and brokerage firm Midwest Market Solutions in Springfield, Mo. "Central and eastern parts of the state where they have had more rainfall, yields are coming in about as expected, maybe even better in some areas, but the western wheat belt is a major concern."

Wheat is also rising as some traders buy futures to exit bearish bets on prices, looking to reduce their risk ahead of goverment crop reports, Mr. Hoops said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture at noon EDT on Friday will release its quarterly estimates of U.S. grain stockpile levels, as well as updated estimates for planted acreage of major crops like corn and wheat this year. The reports could cause sudden, sharp swings in futures prices if the estimates differ significantly from expectations.

Wheat prices also benefited from better-than-expected export sales in a weekly government report Thursday morning. The USDA reported net export sales of 731,800 metric tons of wheat in the week through June 20, all for delivery in the current marketing year that began on June 1. Analysts had expected net sales of 300,000 to 600,000 tons.


Write to Owen Fletcher at owen.fletcher@dowjones.com
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 27, 2013 09:39 ET (13:39 GMT)
DJ U.S. Wheat Rises on Kansas Crop Worries, Pre-USDA Positioning->copyright

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