Wheat Declines Most in a Year as Rain Seen Helping World Crops

Apr 21, 2014 3:33 pm ET

April 21 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat futures fell the most in a year on speculation that showers will bolster crop prospects in the U.S., Europe and Russia. Soybeans and corn declined.

Fields from Texas to Kansas got as much as 0.75 inch (1.9 centimeters) of rain in the past four days, and a pattern of more-frequent precipitation is expected in the next week, World Weather Inc. said in a report. As much as 3 inches fell on parts of Europe in the past four days, with more on the way. Rain this week will aid crops across parts of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, the Overland Park, Kansas-based forecaster said.

“Weather forecasts are improving for better world wheat crops,” Greg Grow, the director of agribusiness at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Supplies appear to be be more than adequate.”

Wheat futures for July delivery fell 3.4 percent to close at $6.755 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since April 1, 2013. Last week, the price rose 4.6 percent, the most since March 14, on concern that dryness would damage the crop in the U.S., the world’s top exporter.

In the 12 months that started July 1, Ukraine shipped more than 8 million metric tons, Agriculture Minister Ihor Shvayka said April 18. Russia is set to be the fifth-largest exporter this year, followed by Ukraine, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Soybean futures for July delivery dropped 1 percent to $14.8725 a bushel.

The oilseed fell on speculation that a widening discount for Brazil soybeans to U.S. prices will spur domestic processors to boost imports, Grow said. The USDA forecast imports will jump 80 percent to a record 65 million bushels in the 12 months that end Aug. 31.

Corn futures for July delivery fell 1.3 percent to $4.9375 a bushel. The grain dropped for the third straight session, the longest slump since Feb. 12.