November 19, 2008


Delayed US grain harvest boosts wheat prices

Wheat rose on speculations that the US will not be able to plant much of the winter grain due to delays in harvesting corn and soy.


Farmers who sow winter wheat after harvesting corn and soy may not be able to do so this year as harvests have been slowed by wet weather. Wheat futures are still down 37 percent this year partly due to increased global production.


Wheat acreage may fall but the acreage will only be known in December, said Clark Neighbors, a commodities broker at Bump Investor Services.


Wheat futures for March delivery rose 2.5 percent or 14 cents to US$5.68 per bushel on the CBOT.


The USDA forecast a 21-percent increase in domestic wheat production to 68 million in the marketing year that ends May 31, 2009. However, the estimate may be reduced if farmers are unable to plant their winter varieties.


Wheat is the fourth largest US crop, valued at US$13.7 billion in 2007, behind corn, soy and hay.

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