November 29th, 2012

Wheat futures fell for the first time in five sessions on signs of declining demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter.

U.S. export sales in the week through Nov. 22 totaled 279,337 metric tons, down 56 percent from a week earlier, the Department of Agriculture said today. Since June 1, overseas buyers have agreed to purchase 16.2 million tons, down 10 percent from the same period a year earlier, USDA data show.

“Demand bearishness has reared its head after the export sales report came out,” Mike Zuzolo, the president of Global Commodity Analytics & Consulting in Lafayette, Indiana, said by telephone. “People are picking up on the negative exports.”

Wheat futures for March delivery fell 0.5 percent to $8.8675 a bushel at 10:21 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price through yesterday gained 37 percent this year.

The grain climbed 3.7 percent in the previous four sessions as dry weather eroded conditions for winter varieties grown in the U.S. Great Plains.

Wheat is the fourth-largest U.S. crop, valued at $14.4 billion in 2011, behind corn, soybeans and hay, government data show.

- Tony C. Dreibus in Chicago at Bloomberg.

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