U.S. Wheat Posts Longest Rally in Four Months; Soy, Corn Advance

Feb 05, 2014 3:48 pm ET

Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat rose, capping the longest rally in more than four months, as shipping delays in Canada boosted demand for grain from the U.S., the world’s top exporter. Soybeans and corn advanced for the fifth straight session.

Wheat prices at export terminals near Portland jumped 9.6 percent in the previous four sessions, compared with a 6 percent gain in Chicago futures. The prospect of a strike by workers at Canadian National Railway Co. threatens to worsen transportation delays, a grain industry group said.

“Demand for U.S. wheat is improving because of the transportation problems in Canada,” Terry Reilly, a senior commodity analyst at Futures International LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “The jump in exporter bids is providing support to the wheat market.”

On the Chicago Board of Trade, soft red-winter wheat futures for March delivery rose 0.5 percent to settle at $5.875 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. The price climbed for the fifth straight session, the longest rally since late September. Yesterday, the grain jumped jumped 3.7 percent, the biggest gain for a most- active contract since April 3.

Canadian stockpiles as of Dec. 31 surged 38 percent from a year earlier on rail delays and a record harvest, government data showed yesterday.

Futures also rose on concern that cold temperatures last month damaged hard red-winter crops across the southern Great Plains, Reilly said.

Hard red-winter futures for March delivery gained 0.7 percent to $6.5125 a bushel in Chicago. Yesterday, the price surged 3.6 percent, the most since Sept. 28, 2012.

In Kansas, the top U.S. winter-wheat grower, 35 percent of the crop in January was in good or excellent condition, down from 58 percent on Dec. 30, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Feb. 3.

Soybean futures for March delivery rose 0.2 percent to $13.1625 a bushel.

Corn futures for March delivery advanced 0.3 percent to $4.435 a bushel.

--Editors: Patrick McKiernan, Millie Munshi