Wheat prices rebound on signs of tighter supplies

AP News
Posted: Sep 29, 2011 4:11 PM
Wheat prices rebound on signs of tighter supplies

Wheat prices are rebounding on signs of tighter U.S. spring wheat supplies.

Wheat ended up 2.4 percent Thursday. Corn and soybean prices also rose.

The spring wheat harvest is nearly complete across the northern part of the United States. The crop endured several weather problems during the growing season, leading to tighter supplies. The bulk of the crop is grown in Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Washington.

Analysts say the harvest is expected to smaller when it's complete but demand for wheat with a high-protein content is expected to improve. That can drive up prices on commodities markets. "You've got a few things starting to come together in wheat that are allowing it to rally," Telvent DTN analyst Darin Newsom said.

December wheat rose 15.5 cents to finish at $6.5425 per bushel, December corn increased 1.75 cents to $6.325 per bushel and November soybeans rose 6.5 cents to $12.30 per bushel.

Investors were cautiously optimistic after the U.S. government said first-time applications for unemployment benefits fell last week. Separately, the Commerce Department raised its estimate for economic growth between April and June to a 1.3 percent annual rate from its previous estimate of 1 percent.

In Europe, German lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favor of expanding the powers of a bailout fund for the 17 nations that use the euro as currency. It was a key step in Europe's efforts to prevent a Greek default on debt.

Investors still aren't sure about where the commodities market is heading long-term, Newsom said. Many are adjusting their portfolios ahead of the end of the third quarter Friday.

Metals were mixed.

December gold fell 80 cents to end at $1,617.30 an ounce. Silver rose 38.8 cents to $30.522 an ounce; copper dropped 0.05 cent to $3.246 per pound and palladium fell $11.15 to $623.60 an ounce.

January platinum fell $5.20 to end at $1,532.90 an ounce.

Crude oil rose 93 cents to finish at $82.14 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Heating oil fell 0.05 cent to end at $2.8266 per gallon, gasoline futures fell 1.67 cents to $2.5586 per gallon and natural gas fell 5.2 cents to $3.747 per 1,000 cubic feet.