Wheat Climbs Third Day This Week on U.S. Exports; Soybeans Gain

Feb 13, 2014 4:12 pm ET

Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat futures gained for the third time this week on signs of robust demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter. Soybeans and corn gained.

Export sales of wheat totaled 597,033 metric tons in the week ended Feb. 6, led by purchases from Japan, Nigeria and Indonesia, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report today. Shipments in the past four weeks are up 33 percent compared with the same period in 2013.

“U.S. exports are running at a pretty healthy level,” Terry Reilly, a senior commodity analyst at Futures International LLC, said in a telephone interview. The numbers are “still relatively strong, especially for this time of year.”

Wheat futures for May delivery rose 1.4 percent to close at $5.955 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Prices have gained 7.2 percent this month.

Ice storms yesterday may have damaged winter varieties planted in the U.S. Southeast, which accounts for about 1 percent of the nation’s production, said Kyle Tapley, a senior agriculture meteorologist with MDA Information Systems Inc. in Gaithersburg, Maryland. This year, there also may have been “some” winterkill in the Plains and Midwest, while weather in the next two weeks looks favorable for crops, he said.

Soybean futures for May delivery gained 1.6 percent to $13.305 a bushel. Exports in the week of Feb. 6 reached 173,644 tons, capping a 25 percent gain for the four-week average compared with a year earlier, the USDA said.

Corn futures for March delivery gained 0.1 percent to close at $4.405 a bushel.

--Editors: Millie Munshi, Patrick McKiernan