Wheat Rises for First Time in Three Days on U.S. Drought Concern

Apr 03, 2014 3:34 pm ET

April 3 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat futures rose for the first time in three days as drought conditions expanded in parts of the U.S., the world’s largest exporter. Soybeans and corn advanced.

In Kansas, the biggest U.S. winter-wheat producer, severe- to-extreme drought expanded to 65 percent of the state as of April 1 from 43 percent a week earlier, U.S. Drought Monitor data showed today. Half of the crop in the southern Great Plains will continue to have “dryness concerns” in the next 15 days, according to Commodity Weather Group LLC.

“Some of those areas haven’t had appreciable rain for over three months,” Mike Krueger, the president of The Money Farm in Fargo, North Dakota, said in a telephone interview. “As that crop breaks dormancy, they could lose yield.”

Wheat futures for May delivery gained 1 percent to close at $6.76 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Yesterday, the price touched $6.65, the lowest for a most-active contract since March 12. The grain has climbed 12 percent this year.

Showers in the Central Plains today will provide “limited relief,” Commodity Weather Group in Bethesda, Maryland, said in a report.

Soybean futures for May delivery rose 0.9 percent to $14.7525 a bushel. The oilseed has gained 14 percent this year, partly as demand from China climbed.

Corn futures for May delivery rose 0.9 percent to $5 a bushel. The grain has advanced 18 percent this year.