Wheat Extends Decline as Rainfall Seen Boosting Crop Prospects

Apr 22, 2014 1:32 am ET

April 22 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat dropped for a second day to extend the biggest decline in a year amid speculation that rains would aid crops in the U.S., Europe and Russia.

The contract for July delivery fell as much as 0.4 percent to $6.725 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade and was at $6.7475 by 1:21 p.m. in Singapore. Futures lost 3.4 percent yesterday, the biggest drop since April 1, 2013. Last week, prices rose 4.6 percent, the most since March 14, on concern drought would damage the crop in the U.S., the top exporter, and tension between Ukraine and Russia would disrupt supplies.

Rains in central Nebraska and central Kansas mid-week will improve conditions, MDA Information Systems LLC, a Gaithersburg, Maryland-based forecaster, said in a report yesterday. Showers will scatter across Europe this week, with rains of 0.5 inch (1.27 centimeters) to 1 inch in the wheat areas of France and Germany expected over the weekend, Commodity Weather Group LLC said in a report yesterday.

“Better weather in key wheat-producing regions of the world over the Easter weekend was to blame for the price action,” Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, wrote in a note today. “Good rains were recorded across Europe over the past four days and favorable rains are forecast for Black Sea wheat crops this week.”

Showers in the next five days should favor central Ukraine, northern Volga Valley and southern North Caucasus, MDA forecasts. Russia is set to be the fifth-largest exporter this year, followed by Ukraine, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Soybeans for July delivery climbed 0.4 percent to $14.9275 a bushel, advancing for the first time in three days. Corn rose 0.3 percent to $4.9525 a bushel, snapping a three-session decline that was the longest slump since Feb. 12.