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Wheat leads grains in mixed session

11/28/2012 @ 3:14pm

U.S. wheat futures rose Wednesday, boosted by concerns about drought in the Great Plains and other threats to world wheat crops.

Chicago Board of Trade wheat for December delivery settled up 3 cents, or 0.3%, at $8.76 a bushel, a fresh two-week high. KCBT December wheat rose 2 1/2 cents, or 0.3%, to $9.18 1/4 a bushel. MGEX December wheat rose 2 1/2 cents, or 0.3%, to $9.38 3/4 a bushel.

CBOT wheat futures rose for a seventh consecutive session, adding to a jump in prices made on Tuesday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported condition ratings as of Sunday for the country's winter wheat crop, which is in the worst shape for this time of year since USDA crop ratings began in 1986.

The rise on Wednesday "obviously had some follow-through from yesterday," said Louise Gartner, an analyst with brokerage Spectrum Commodities in Beavercreek, Ohio. But bullish wheat traders also cite threats to wheat crops outside the U.S., including from excessive rain in Argentina. Rain has also delayed the harvest and raised quality issues in parts of Australia.

In the northern hemisphere, wheat conditions in northern Europe and parts of the Black Sea area were "fairly rough" ahead of the winter, Ms. Gartner said. For the U.S. winter wheat crop, "it's getting too late in the season to really improve it much before it goes into dormancy," she said.

Wheat futures also rose on concerns about delays in corn planting in Argentina due to rain. That will reduce corn production in the country, and tighter world supplies of grain could add to demand for wheat as a corn substitute in animal feed.

Wheat's recent rally began from the bottom end of its current trading range. "This trading range has been brutal, it has been so choppy, and I would imagine the market is going to run out of gas like it has done so many times before," though wheat prices are likely to rise in the longer term, Ms. Gartner said.

Corn futures barely moved. Traders hesitated to push prices higher after a rally in recent days--driven largely by rising wheat futures--pushed December corn to a one-month closing high on Tuesday. Corn traded slightly higher earlier in the day on Wednesday, but pared its gains as wheat futures also did so.

December corn futures were nearly flat, rising only 1/4 cent to $7.60 1/4 a bushel.

Soybean futures fell slightly, pressured by light profit taking after recent gains. Improved South American crop weather also contributed to the fall.

January soybean futures fell 3 cents, or 0.2%, to $14.46 1/4 a bushel.

-Write to Owen Fletcher at
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 28, 2012 15:43 ET (20:43 GMT)
DJ U.S. GRAIN AND SOY REVIEW: Wheat Rises On Drought In Plains->copyright

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