Soft commodities price watch: Wheat hits four-month high
iNVEZZ.com, Monday, October 21st: Grain futures have risen today with wheat hitting its highest price level since June as concerns over crop conditions in Argentina boosted expectations of increased demand for US supplies.
Argentina, the Southern Hemisphere’s second-biggest wheat exporter behind Australia, last week forecast a wheat crop of 8.8 million tonnes, way below the 12 million tonnes predicted by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and said 2013-14 exports of the grain may fall to two million tonnes.
The wheat price for December delivery on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was 0.53 percent higher at $7.0950 a bushel at 12:46 BST. Earlier today, the contract touched $7.1125 a bushel, the highest price for a most-active future since June 21. Milling wheat for November delivery on NYSE Liffe in Paris added 0.6 percent to €205.75 a tonne.
Wheat prices have been well supported in recent weeks by expectations demand from China and Brazil will remain robust in the near term. Brazil is on track to buy the most wheat from the US in at least 20 years, while China has booked orders for nearly four times the volume it purchased last year.
Among other grains, the corn price for December delivery has added 0.4 percent to $4.4325 a bushel by 12:53 BST, while the soybean price for delivery in November has advanced 0.27 percent to $12.9475 a bushel.
Grain traders will focus on the release of key USDA data later in the week, including export sales figures and crop progress numbers, which had been delayed due to the US government shutdown during the first 16 days of the month.
The agency has cancelled the release of its closely-watched monthly supply and demand report for October, originally scheduled for October 11. The next monthly USDA crop report is scheduled to be released on November 8.
**Sugar climbs after Brazil fire**
!m[Raw sugar gains on fears Brazil fire may disrupt shipments](/uploads/story/6204/thumbs/pic1_inline.jpg)
Raw sugar futures traded in New York have erased losses for the year due to speculation last week’s fire in Brazilian warehouses may disrupt the country’s shipments and force millers in the world’s biggest producer to make more ethanol.
Copersucar, Brazil’s largest sugar trader, on Friday said that a fire had damaged six of its warehouses at the port of Santos, destroying nearly 180,000 tonnes of raw sugar. Archer Consulting director Arnaldo Luiz Correa said in a report e-mailed to Bloomberg on Saturday that sugar prices in the physical market may rise and the rebuild of the operations at the Brazilian port may take eight to 12 months.
Raw sugar for delivery in March on ICE Futures US in New York today rose as much as 0.2 percent to 0.1953 a pound, bringing prices 0.1 percent higher for the year. Prices had fallen as much as 18 percent by July. Refined, or white sugar for December delivery on NYSE Liffe in London meanwhile fell 0.1 percent to $513.40 a tonne.
As of 13:08 BST, the Arabica coffee for delivery in December had dropped 0.2 percent to trade at $1.144 a pound on ICE, while Robusta coffee for delivery in January fell 0.1 percent to $1,616 a tonne on NYSE Liffe. Cocoa for delivery in December shed 0.3 percent to $2,713 a tonne in New York and slipped 0.2 percent to £1,727 a tonne in London.
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