United States wheat futures soared Wednesday as Argentina stirred up fears about global tightness by announcing a suspension of wheat export registrations until it assesses the impact of recent frosts.
Chicago Board of Trade March wheat closed at its highest since October 22 and the Kansas City Board of Trade March wheat settled 30 cents higher at 8.95 Ãâ€šÃ‚Â½ per bushel, the contract's highest close since October 5. Minneapolis Grain Exchange March wheat ended 29 3/4 cents higher at 9.21 1/4, the contract's highest close since October first. Prices climbed after Argentina said it had closed its wheat export registry for five working days while the government studies the damage to the new crop from recent frosts. Argentina is expected to have a solid crop, and the suspension renewed fears about low world wheat stocks, an analyst said. As of November 26, Argentine exporters had declared almost 6.5 million metric tons of 2007-08 wheat for export, according to the Agriculture Secretariat. However, exporters flooded the registry with additional export declarations Tuesday, bringing the total to about 7 million tons, according to local press reports. About 10 million metric tons of wheat are expected to be available for export from the new crop, according to analysts. The Agriculture secretary opened the wheat export registry two weeks ago. Gains on news about Argentina triggered technical buying that accelerated gains, traders said. CBOT December and May wheat also finished limit up. However, there is already sentiment that the rally was overdone. Some analysts and traders said the temporary shutdown didn't justify the limit-up moves. "Like always, we overdo things," an analyst said of the volatile wheat market. "If we were stacking up demand, I could see that" justifying the strong gains. The demand front was quiet Wednesday, although India said Monday is was tendering for wheat. There is also chatter that Pakistan may buy soon, an analyst said.