Wheat Futures Post Longest Rally in Two Months on Ukraine Tumult

Apr 25, 2014 3:40 pm ET

April 25 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat futures rose, capping the longest rally in two months, on concern that escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine will disrupt supplies from the Black Sea region. Corn and soybeans climbed.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin is running out of time to comply with an accord to ease unrest in Ukraine. Russia is the world’s fifth biggest wheat exporter, followed by Ukraine.

“This is more fear that there will be a Russian incursion into Ukraine,” Greg Grow, the director of agribusiness at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “We are adding some risk premium for any possible supply disruption ahead of the weekend.”

Wheat futures for July delivery rose 1.7 percent to close at $7.0825 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price climbed for the fourth straight day, the longest rally since Feb. 19.

Crops in the U.S., the top exporter, continue to face drought concerns with dryness expanding to almost half of the Grain Plains in the next 10 days, Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, said in a report.

U.S. winter-wheat yields may decline to 44.8 bushels an acres from 47.4 bushels in 2013, Berwyn, Pennsylvania-based Planalytics Inc. said today. Drought and dry weather reduced the yield forecast from 45.5 bushels two weeks earlier.

Soybean futures for July delivery advanced 1.6 percent to $14.9425 a bushel. The price has gained 16 percent this year.

Corn futures for July delivery climbed 1.1 percent to $5.1275 a bushel. The grain has jumped 22 percent in 2014.

Almost all of the Midwest and South will receive more than 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) of rain beginning tomorrow with some fields getting as much as 3 inches, halting planting activity, according to World Weather Inc. in Overland Park, Kansas.

Cold weather next week will slow field drying for heavy machinery and may delay crop emergence for fields already planted, Grow of Archer Financial said.

--With assistance from Ranjeetha Pakiam in Kuala Lumpur and Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris.