Soft Commodities Price Watch: Wheat Rebounds on Prospects of U.S. Harvest Delays
Grain futures edged higher during early U.S. morning trading hours today, June 18, as investors continued to focus on U.S. weather conditions and crop prospects. Concerns that rains in parts of America, the world’s largest wheat exporter, will further delay harvesting that is already lagging behind last year’s pace, pushed up the wheat price for the first time in three days.
The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) weekly crop progress figures published yesterday revealed that domestic farmers had harvested just 11 percent of their winter wheat crop as of Sunday, June 16, well behind the 25 percent typically collected by this time of the year and below the 51 percent recorded a year earlier.
The wheat price for delivery in September on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was 0.62 percent up to $6.84 a bushel, after reaching $6.83 a bushel earlier during today’s session. Futures fell 0.9 percent in the two sessions through yesterday.
The CBOT corn price rose as much as 0.5 percent to $5.41 a bushel for delivery in December, before declining 0.23 percent to $5.37 a bushel. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday that 92 percent of the U.S. corn crop was collected as of June 16, below the five-year average of 97 percent for this time of the year and behind the 100 percent collected a year earlier.
Elsewhere on the CBOT, soybeans futures for November delivery were up 0.35 percent at $12.9000 a bushel, paring some of their earlier gains which took the soybean price to $12.9475 a bushel. The USDA said that domestic soybean sowings were 85 percent complete as of Sunday, up 14 points week on week but behind the 91 percent typically completed by this time of the year.
**Robusta Coffee Resumes Decline on Bearish Bets and Vietnam Rains**
The Robusta coffee price, down 7.3 percent so far this month, resumed declines today as speculators boosted bearish bets and rains improved the outlook for the next crop in Vietnam, the world’s top producer of the soft commodity.
According to NYSE Liffe, money managers boosted bets on falling prices of Robusta coffee by 35 percent to a 17-month high in the week ended June 11. Meanwhile, regular rains in the main growing region of Vietnam have been boosting the crop’s quality, reducing earlier concerns that the dry weather in the Asian country would reduce output for the season which starts in October.
Robusta coffee for September delivery fell 0.6 percent to $1,753 a tonne by 11:41 GMT on NYSE Liffe in London. Arabica coffee for September delivery was little changed at $1.233 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.
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White, or refined, sugar for August delivery fell 0.7 percent to $488.50 a tonne in London, while the raw sugar price for October was 1.4 percent lower at $0.1701 a pound in New York.
Cocoa for delivery in September gained 0.2 percent to £1,462 a tonne on NYSE Liffe, while ICE cocoa for September delivery was up 0.1 percent at $2,216 a tonne.
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