Wheat prices fell for the third time this week after the U.S. government unexpectedly raised its forecast for global stockpiles and boosted Canada’s production outlook.
World inventories will total 177.8 million metric tons in the year ending May 31, the Department of Agriculture said in a report today. That’s up from last month’s estimate of 174.8 million tons and above the 171.1 million tons forecast by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. The grain has gained 36 percent this year on supply concerns.
“I have to go with these report numbers being bearish,” said Jason Britt, the president of Central States Commodities Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri. The increased forecast “is going to put the brakes on prices.”
Wheat futures for December delivery fell 1.25 cents, or 0.2 percent, to close at $7.3675 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The grain fell 0.6 percent this week.
Canada’s crop will be 22.5 million tons, up 9.8 percent from last month’s estimate, the USDA said. Last year, the U.S. was the largest shipper of wheat, followed by Canada, Russia, Australia and Ukraine, USDA data show.
Wheat is the fourth-biggest U.S. crop, valued at $10.6 billion in 2009, behind corn, soybeans and hay, government data show.