Chicago | Reuters — U.S. wheat futures jumped on Wednesday on concerns about shrinking crop production estimates in countries from France and Russia to Argentina, traders said.
Prices approached a one-month high at the Chicago Board of Trade as adverse weather and lower-than-expected plantings have reduced expectations for harvests in major exporters. The neighbouring corn and soybean markets were mixed, after worries about unfavourable U.S. crop weather eased temporarily.
“Wheat’s the big winner,” said Don Roose, president of broker U.S. Commodities in Iowa.
The most-active Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures contract climbed 21-1/4 cents to $5.16-1/2 per bushel and reached its highest price since June 8 (all figures US$).
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in a monthly report due on Friday, is expected to trim its estimate for the country’s harvest to 1.848 billion bushels from 1.877 in June, according to a Reuters poll of analysts.
In Argentina, the Rosario Grain Exchange lowered its 2020-21 harvest estimate to a range of 18-19 million tonnes from 21-22 million previously. The exchange pegged wheat plantings at 6.6 million hectares, down from its previous estimate of seven million.
Smaller harvests can lead to lower exports.
In France, farm office FranceAgriMer forecast 2020-21 soft wheat shipments outside the European Union would fall to 7.75 million tonnes, down 43 per cent from 2019-20 and the lowest in four years.
“The surplus that is forecast on the wheat market for 2020-21 should be taken with a pinch of salt,” Commerzbank said.
In the other markets, CBOT soybeans slumped 5-1/4 cents at $8.97-1/4 a bushel and touched their lowest price since July 1. The market has pulled back since hitting a four-month high on Monday on worries about hot, dry weather threatening the U.S. crop.
CBOT corn finished 1-3/4 cents higher at $3.54-1/4 per bushel, after touching a one-week low earlier in the session.
— Reporting for Reuters by Tom Polansek in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Sydney.