Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wheat Futures Advance as Cold Weather Threatens Crops in Canada, China

Wheat rose for the first time in four days as cold weather threatened crops in China and Canada, the world’s second-biggest exporter.

An overnight freeze damaged wheat, canola and barley in Alberta and Saskatchewan, said Drew Lerner, the president of World Weather Inc. in Overland Park, Kansas. In China, the cold may hurt corn in the biggest growing-region, according to the National Grain & Oils Information Center website. That may boost demand for wheat to use in livestock feed.

“Canada’s harvest problems are helping prices,” said Darrell Holaday, the president of Advanced Market Concepts in Manhattan, Kansas. “The Chinese freeze threat is another thing. We’re going from one weather scare to another.”

Wheat futures for December delivery rose 20 cents, or 2.8 percent, to close at $7.3925 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, ending the week up 0.3 percent.

The price has gained 7.8 percent this month on speculation that reduced production in Russia and Ukraine will boost demand from other exporting countries.

The U.S. is the biggest wheat exporter, followed by Canada, Russia and Australia, according to the Department of Agriculture. The grain is the fourth-biggest U.S. crop, valued at $10.6 billion in 2009, behind corn, soybeans and hay, government data show.

Corn gained 3.5 percent today and is up 17 percent this month on speculation that adverse weather will curb production as demand rises.

“So much of the wheat in the world is used for feed,” Holaday said. “It’s tied at the hip to corn.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Tony C. Dreibus in Chicago at

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