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Wheat futures trade close to 7-week peak on U.S. weather concerns

Published 04/06/2015, 06:39 AM
Wheat futures extend rally on dry U.S. weather
- - U.S. wheat futures rallied for the third straight session on Monday to trade close to a seven-week high as a lack of rainfall in the U.S. grain belt fuelled concerns over the health of the winter-wheat crop.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, US wheat for May delivery tacked on 6.97 cents, or 1.3%, to trade at $5.4338 a bushel during U.S. morning hours.

On Thursday, wheat touched $5.4420, the most since February 17. There was no settlement in grain futures on Friday as markets were closed for the start of the Easter holiday.

The May wheat contract rallied 21.76 cents, or 5.15%, last week, as concerns over the health of the winter-wheat crop supported prices.

Meanwhile, US corn for May delivery inched up 1.93 cents, or 0.5%, to trade at $3.8913 a bushel.

Gains were likely to remain limited amid indications of ample supplies. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said last week that U.S. corn inventories on March 1 totaled 7.745 billion bushels, 11% higher than last year.

The agency also projected U.S. farmers would plant 89.199 million acres with corn in 2015, surpassing forecasts for 88.735 million but down from 90.597 million in 2014.

Elsewhere on the Chicago Board of Trade, US soybeans for May delivery added 1.63 cents, or 0.16%, to trade at $9.8763 a bushel.

According to the USDA, domestic soybean stocks at the start of March totaled 1.334 billion bushels, 34% higher than last year. The agency also said that growers in the U.S. will sow 84.635 million acres of soybeans this year, up 1.1% from a year earlier.

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Later in the day, the USDA will release the first national planting progress report of the season.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, government figures show. Wheat was fourth, behind hay.

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