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Wheat Market Shoots Higher on Plains Rain Worries

04/07/2014 @ 3:19pm

Wheat futures rose Monday as little rain fell in western parts of the U.S. southern Great Plains over the weekend, giving only light relief for dry winter crops.

Less than an inch of rain fell in parts of southern Kansas on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. The weather will remain mostly dry in the region this week, and winds that tend to dry soils will pick up Tuesday and Wednesday, according to private forecaster DTN.

Rainfall that's expected toward the end of the week will likely boost prospects in the southern Plains, analysts said.

A U.S. government crop progress report "this afternoon is likely to show poor wheat ratings, so there's buying related to that," said Doug Bergman, vice president of agricultural derivatives at brokerage RCM Asset Management in Chicago.

Wheat futures for May delivery rose 6 1/2 cents, or 1%, to $6.76 1/4 a bushel in Chicago.

Corn futures fell on speculation that drier, warmer weather this week will allow farmers to resume planting in southern parts of the Corn Belt.

Rain will slow in the next five days in southern U.S. growing areas, allowing corn farmers into fields, forecaster Commodity Weather Group said in a report on Monday. Still, cool, wet weather is expected for most of the eastern Midwest in the six- to 10-day outlook, INTL FCStone analysts said in a note to clients.

While the rain has delayed field work in the upper Midwest and planting in southern regions, the added moisture will help plants once they're in the ground, analysts said. After last year, when U.S. corn growers harvested a record crop after similarly wet, cool weather prevented some areas from being seeded, investors aren't as willing to bet field work and planting delays will hurt overall production.

Corn futures for May delivery fell 2 1/2 cents, or 0.5%, to $4.99 1/4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soybeans for May delivery dropped 9 1/2 cents, or 0.6%, to $14.64 1/4 a bushel on the CBOT.

Write to Tony C. Dreibus at tony.dreibus@wsj.com
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 07, 2014 16:11 ET (20:11 GMT)
DJ Wheat Rises as Lack of Rain Threatens U.S. Winter Crops->copyright

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