To ease your site search, article categories are at bottom of page.

February 19, 2009

Wheat prices fall as rain, irrigation counter drought in China

by Tony C. Dreibus

Wheat fell to a two-month low as rain and irrigation mitigate drought damage in growing areas of China, the world’s biggest producer of the grain.

About 69.8 million mu (11.5 million acres) of winter wheat are suffering from the worst drought in five decades, China’s Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said yesterday. The affected area has been cut in half from its peak on Feb. 7 by precipitation and irrigation, the agency said.

“China’s weather has improved, and at least half of the drought area is OK,” said William Bayer, a partner at PTI Securities in Chicago. “The weather is cooperating, or they’ve successfully irrigated to fend of at least a quasi-disaster.”

Wheat futures for May delivery fell 5 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $5.23 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price touched $5.22, the lowest since Dec. 16. The most-active contract is down 61 percent from a record $13.495 set almost a year ago.

The drought in China won’t affect grain prices because the nation has “the largest wheat reserves in the world,” said Brady Sidwell, assistant director for Northeast Asia at Rabobank International.

Rain fell in the two days that started Feb. 14 in growing areas of China, improving the outlook for winter wheat, Minneapolis-based DTN Meteorlogix LLC said today in a report. More rain may fall in the next week, helping crops in the Yangtze River Valley, the private forecaster said.

France said it will increase sales of wheat to nations outside the European Union by 5.6 percent to 9.5 million metric tons. Algeria and Morocco bought 55 percent of French wheat sold outside of the EU in the six months ended Dec. 31, the grains and oilseed crops office said today.

Wheat is the fourth-biggest U.S. crop, valued at $16.6 billion in 2008, behind corn, soybeans and hay, government data show.


Article Categories

AGRA agribusiness agrochemicals agroforestry aid Algeria aloe vera Angola aquaculture banana barley beans beef bees Benin biodiesel biodiversity biof biofuel biosafety biotechnology Botswana Brazil Burkina Faso Burundi CAADP Cameroon capacity building cashew cassava cattle Central African Republic cereals certification CGIAR Chad China CIMMYT climate change cocoa coffee COMESA commercial farming Congo Republic conservation agriculture cotton cow pea dairy desertification development disease diversification DRCongo drought ECOWAS Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia EU EUREPGAP events/meetings expo exports fa fair trade FAO fertilizer finance fisheries floods flowers food security fruit Gabon Gambia gender issues Ghana GM crops grain green revolution groundnuts Guinea Bissau Guinea Conakry HIV/AIDS honey hoodia horticulture hydroponics ICIPE ICRAF ICRISAT IFAD IITA imports India infrastructure innovation inputs investment irrigation Ivory Coast jatropha kenaf keny Kenya khat land deals land management land reform Lesotho Liberia Libya livestock macadamia Madagascar maiz maize Malawi Mali mango marijuana markets Mauritania Mauritius mechanization millet Morocco Mozambique mushroom Namibia NEPAD Niger Nigeria organic agriculture palm oil pastoralism pea pest control pesticides pineapple plantain policy issues potato poultry processing productivity Project pyrethrum rai rain reforestation research rice rivers rubber Rwanda SADC Sao Tome and Principe seed seeds Senegal sesame Seychelles shea butter Sierra Leone sisal soil erosion soil fertility Somalia sorghum South Africa South Sudan Southern Africa spices standards subsidies Sudan sugar sugar cane sustainable farming Swaziland sweet potato Tanzania tariffs tea tef tobacco Togo tomato trade training Tunisia Uganda UNCTAD urban farming value addition value-addition vanilla vegetables water management weeds West Africa wheat World Bank WTO yam Zambia Zanzibar zero tillage Zimbabwe

  © 2007 Africa News Network design by

Back to TOP