Wheat Jumps As Cold Weather Threatens U.S. Crop

Chicago wheat futures rose more than 1 percent on Monday, with the market underpinned as extremely cold weather threatened to curb yields of the U.S. hard red winter crop.

Corn slid to trade near one-week lows, while soybeans lost ground as plentiful global supply anchored the markets.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade climbed as much as 1.4 percent to $4.69-1/2 a bushel, having closed up 0.1 percent on Friday.

Corn fell 0.1 percent to hit a low of $3.66 a bushel, matching Friday’s prices and the lowest since March 14. Soybeans lost 0.2 percent to $8.95-1/2 a bushel.

Wheat is drawing support as cold weather hit Kansas and Oklahoma, two major U.S. producing regions, over the weekend.

“The move in wheat is definitely driven by the weekend weather which was much colder than expected in the U.S. Plains,” said one Australia-based agricultural commodities analyst.

“Temperatures in parts of western Kansas were below the critical level for 10 hours. Given the stage of the crop, our fear is that it may have done some damage.”

India canceled a tender to import 240,000 metric tons of corn, hoping for a bigger-than-expected local summer harvest and following uncertainty over the availability of non-genetically modified corn, trade and government sources said.

But the country may import wheat for the first time in a decade as persistent rain and hailstorms could cut India’s wheat crop by at least 14 percent, an industry body said on Friday.

Private analytics firm Informa Economics raised its forecast for U.S. 2016 corn plantings to 89.5 million acres and lowered its forecast for soybeans to 84.0 million acres, trade sources said on Friday.

Large speculators trimmed their net short position in CBOT corn futures in the week to March 15, regulatory data released on Friday showed.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly commitments of traders report also showed that noncommercial traders, a category that includes hedge funds, trimmed their net short position in CBOT wheat and curbed their net short position in soybeans.

Source: AgWeek

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