Wheat Climbs on Increasing U.S. Shipments; Corn Futures Advance

Feb 14, 2014 3:41 pm ET

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat futures rose for a second day on signs that demand for exports is increasing as stockpiles shrink in the U.S., the world’s biggest shipper. Corn also gained, while soybeans declined.

Wheat exports in the week ended Feb. 6 reached 597,033 metric tons, leaving weekly sales in the past four week 33 percent higher than the same period a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday. This week, the USDA reduced by 8.2 percent its forecast for domestic inventories in the year ended May 31. Prices tumbled 22 percent in 2013 on the outlook for record global production.

“We’ve turned market sentiment to a more positive outlook,” Shawn McCambridge, a senior grains analyst at Jefferies Bache LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “When the price turned higher, we started seeing some short covering.”

Wheat futures for May delivery climbed 0.4 percent to close at $5.9625 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, posting a second straight weekly gain. Prices have risen 7.3 percent this month.

Purchases of the grain last week were led by Japan, Nigeria and Indonesia, according to the USDA.

Corn futures for March delivery gained 1.1 percent to $4.4525 a bushel on the CBOT. Soybean futures for May delivery fell 0.4 percent to $13.25 a bushel.

The market will be closed on Feb. 17 for a public holiday.

--Editors: Millie Munshi, Steve Stroth