By Jeff Wilson
(Bloomberg) -- Wheat rose, heading for the longest rally in almost 11 months, on speculation that demand will rise for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter. Corn and soybeans gained.
U.S. exporters sold 120,000 metric tons of hard, red winter wheat for delivery before May 31 to Nigeria, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today. Prices had dropped 22 percent this year as of yesterday, after production climbed 5.7 percent to a record 688.97 million tons, USDA data show. Cheaper grain may spur purchases.
“Sales may start to increase,” Don Roose, the president of U.S. Commodities Inc in West Des Moines, Iowa, said in a telephone interview. “Rallies will be anchored by large world supplies.”
Wheat futures for March delivery rose 0.8 percent to $6.2675 a bushel at 11:23 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Prices are headed for a sixth straight gain, the longest really since late January. The grain touched $6.2725, the highest since Dec. 5.
Corn and soybean crops in Argentina will receive rain through Dec. 29 that will improve soil moisture after warm, dry weather earlier this month threatened production, the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange said yesterday. Rain may relieve crop stress in parts of Brazil, World Weather Inc. said in a report. Prices for both commodities touched one-month highs yesterday.
“It’s a little premature to start slashing crop estimates in South America, and most of the crop damage that has occurred is already priced into the markets,” Shawn McCambridge, the senior grain analyst for Jefferies Bache Commodities Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.
Corn futures for March delivery climbed 0.2 percent to $6.1875 a bushel in Chicago. Yesterday, the price touched $6.25, the highest since Nov. 18.
Soybean futures for March delivery rose 0.3 percent to $11.755 a bushel on the CBOT. Yesterday, the oilseed touched $11.775, the highest since Nov. 18.
The U.S. was the largest exporter of all three commodities last season. Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $66.7 billion in 2010, followed by soybeans, hay and wheat, government data show.