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Wheat rockets, leads all grains higher

10/03/2013 @ 3:27pm

Wheat prices increased to their highest in 14 weeks Thursday on signs of improved demand, and soybean and corn futures rose on speculation that rainfall in the U.S. Midwest will slow the harvest.

Wheat prices gained as investors liquidate short positions, or bets that prices would fall, amid increased demand for supplies from the U.S., the world's biggest exporter of the grain. Shipments of U.S. wheat from the start of June through Sept. 19 totaled 12.1 million tons, up 40% from the same period a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report a week ago. The USDA's export sales report scheduled for Thursday wasn't released due to the partial government shutdown.

Brazil 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. The South American country started buying U.S. wheat after Argentina, traditionally its main source, stopped exports in a bid to increase domestic stockpiles.

"It continues to be a demand story from Brazil," said Mike O'Dea, a Kansas City, Mo.-based risk management consultant at investment adviser INTL FCStone. "I like the way the markets have been trading, it's been methodical and we haven't seen a big spike or a limit up move."

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Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures for December delivery rose 3 1/4 cents, or 0.5%, to $6.89 1/4 a bushel, the eighth increase in nine sessions. Wheat prices earlier reached $6.98 a bushel, the highest since June 21.

Soybeans and corn futures rose as rainfall in eastern Nebraska, northwestern Iowa and southern Minnesota will expand throughout the Farm Belt in the next three days, interrupting soybean collection, according to Commodity Weather Group LLC. More precipitation is forecast in six to 15 days after a dry spell next week, CWG said. Frost in North Dakota and South Dakota will "result in minimal damage," the forecaster said.

Soybean futures for November delivery on the CBOT gained 14 1/2 cents, or 1.1%, to $12.88 1/4 a bushel in Chicago. The price gained for a second straight day since reaching a 19-month low Tuesday.

Corn futures for December delivery in Chicago rose 1/4 cent, or 0.1%, to $4.39 1/4 a bushel.


Write to Tony C. Dreibus at tony.dreibus@wsj.com
Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 03, 2013 15:48 ET (19:48 GMT)
DJ Wheat Rises to 14-Week High on Strong Demand; Soybeans, Corn Gain->copyright


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