Wheat Climbs on Speculation Adverse Weather to Hurt Australian, US Crops

Wednesday, December 1, 2010
By Paul Martin

By Luzi Ann Javier and Tony C. Dreibus
Dec 1, 2010

Wheat rose in Chicago on speculation rains in Australia will hurt the harvest in the fourth-largest exporter of the grain and dry weather in the U.S. will curb output.

Showers and thunderstorms are likely from southeastern parts of South Australia into Victoria and eastern parts of New South Wales and Queensland in the next few days, Accuweather.com said in a forecast yesterday. A “moderate drought” is harming plants in Kansas, the biggest U.S. producer of winter wheat, according to data from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

“Rains in eastern Australia are threatening to produce a soggy crop,” said Justine White, an analyst at VM Group in London. “The harvest is already running late, and if the rains persist, this will increase the proportion of grain downgraded to feed wheat.”

Wheat for March delivery gained 23.75 cents, or 3.4 percent, to $7.1425 a bushel at 1:14 p.m. London time on the Chicago Board of Trade. The grain reached $7.20, the highest level in more than two weeks, and has added 4.9 percent since Nov. 23, the last time prices declined. The U.S. is the biggest wheat exporter.

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