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Wheat shoots higher on winterkill worries

01/23/2014 @ 3:03pm

Wheat futures rebounded from a three-year low on concerns that extremely cold weather in some areas of the U.S. could harm dormant plants that don't have a protective layer of snow. Corn gained for a third straight day while soybeans declined.

Temperatures will drop below freezing in the next 10 days with 15% of soft wheat in southern Illinois and northeast Missouri at risk for minor damage from the cold due to a lack of snow cover, private forecaster Commodity Weather Group said in a report Thursday. Some money managers who were net-short 56,482 contracts last week may be buying futures and closing positions on speculation that the cold weather will boost prices.

Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures for March delivery rose 8 3/4 cents, or 1.6%, to $5.70 a bushel. The grain on Wednesday dropped to the lowest closing price for a front-month contract since July 2010.

Corn gained for a third straight day as ethanol production figures reported by the Energy Department Thursday showed output in the week through Jan. 17 increased from the prior seven days, and as grain movement in the Midwest is slowed by cold, snowy weather.

U.S. ethanol output in the week through Jan. 17 averaged 905,000 barrels a day, up from 868,000 barrels last week, according to the Energy Information Administration, a division of the Energy Department.

Corn futures for March delivery rose 2 3/4 cents or 0.7%, to $4.29 a bushel on the CBOT.

Soybean futures for March delivery fell 2 1/2 cents, or 0.2%, to $12.77 a bushel in Chicago trading.

Write to Tony C. Dreibus at tony.dreibus@wsj.com
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 23, 2014 14:54 ET (19:54 GMT)
DJ Wheat Futures Gain as Cold Weather Threatens U.S. Crops->copyright

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