Wheat hits near 9-year high on global supply concerns


CANBERRA, Nov 24 – U.S. wheat futures rose for a fourth consecutive session on Wednesday, as concerns about global supplies pushed prices to a near nine-year high.

The most-active wheat futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 0.3% at $8.70 a bushel, as of 0126 GMT, near the session high of $8.71 a bushel – their highest since December 2012. Wheat gained 1.2% on Tuesday.

  • The most-active soybean futures were up 0.3% at $12.76-1/2 a bushel, having closed little changed in the previous session.

  • The most active corn futures were little changed at $5.80-1/4 a bushel, having gained 0.7% in the previous session.

  • Concerns about tightening global supplies have supported wheat prices, as rains stalled harvesting in Australia and threatened grain quality. Flooding has also disrupted shipments from western Canada, while prices in Russia, the world’s top wheat exporter, have climbed steadily.

  • Dry conditions in the U.S. winter wheat belt also fuelled early worries about next year’s harvest.

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Monday that 44% of the U.S. winter wheat crop was in good-to-excellent condition, down from 46% a week earlier. Analysts on average had expected an unchanged score.

* The dollar paused for a breath after surging with bets on higher rates when Jerome Powell was picked for a second term as Federal Reserve chair, while the New Zealand dollar was on edge ahead of a central bank decision on a rate-hike path.

  • A coordinated release from government oil reserves led by the United States may add about 70 million to 80 million barrels of crude supply, smaller than the more-than-100 million barrels the market has been pricing in, analysts at Goldman Sachs said.

  • Wall Street shares were mixed on Tuesday and the dollar slipped from a 16-month high as investors positioned for interest rate hikes in 2022 after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell was nominated for a second term.

Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Rashmi Aich