Wheat Posts Longest Slump in Four Months on World Supply Outlook

May 12, 2014 2:45 pm ET

May 12 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat futures fell, capping the longest slump in four months, on signs of increasing global supplies. Corn and soybeans dropped.

World wheat inventories will rise 0.5 percent to 187.4 million metric tons next year from 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on May 9. Futures in Chicago dropped 3.3 percent in four sessions, the longest slump since Jan. 10.

U.S. “prices are higher than most of our global competitors,” Brian Grete, the editor of the Professional Farmers of America newsletter in Cedar Falls, Iowa, said in a telephone interview. “Exports are going to decline. There’s a tougher time building a strong case on the bullish side.”

Wheat futures for July delivery slumped 1 percent to close at $7.15 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price touched $7, the lowest for a most-active contract since April 28. This year, the grain has climbed 18 percent, partly because drought eroded conditions for the winter crop in the U.S., the world’s top exporter.

Areas in central Kansas, the top U.S. grower of the winter variety, got as much as 2.5 inches (6.4 centimeters) of rain this weekend, easing crop stress, Joel Widenor, a meteorologist at Commodity Weather Group in Bethesda, Maryland, said in a telephone interview.

In the medium term, wheat may drop on higher production in the European Union and Black Sea region with prices at $5.75 in 12 months, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analyst Damien Courvalin said in a report dated yesterday.

Corn futures for July delivery fell 1.6 percent to $4.995 a bushel. A USDA report today may show U.S. plantings were 57 percent complete as of yesterday, up from 29 percent a week earlier, a Bloomberg News survey of 17 analysts showed.

Soybean futures for July delivery dropped 1.5 percent to $14.6525 a bushel.

--With assistance from Whitney McFerron in London.