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U.S. wheat to multi-year lows on strong dollar, crop ratings

CHICAGO - U.S. wheat futures fell to multi-year lows on Tuesday, pressured by strength in the dollar and better crop conditions than last year in the Plains, analysts said. Soybean and corn futures were also mostly down, with the most-active May ...

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CHICAGO - U.S. wheat futures fell to multi-year lows on Tuesday, pressured by strength in the dollar and better crop conditions than last year in the Plains, analysts said.

Soybean and corn futures were also mostly down, with the most-active May contracts in both markets falling to multi-week lows.

At the Chicago Board of Trade as of 1:11 p.m. CST (1911 GMT), May wheat was down 7-1/4 cents at $4.46 per bushel after dipping to $4.45-1/2, a contract low and the lowest price for a most-active contract since June 2010.

Fundamentally, global wheat ending stocks for 2015/16 are projected to reach an all-time high, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has said, while U.S. wheat exports are forecast at a 44-year low.

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A strong dollar has made U.S. grains less attractive to those holding other currencies. The dollar set a one-month high against the euro after U.S. manufacturing data appeared to stabilize in February.

Meanwhile, monthly crop reports released by the USDA late Monday showed crop condition ratings in Kansas, the top U.S. winter wheat producer, improved in February. While ratings fell in several other states, winter wheat was in better shape than a year ago in Oklahoma and Montana, the No. 3 and 4 winter wheat states last year.

"Crop conditions are some of the best we've seen in Lord knows how long. When was the last time you saw a rating for Oklahoma wheat as high as it is now, even though it did come down (from last month)?" asked Tom Fritz, a partner with EFG Group in Chicago.

The USDA rated 68 percent of Oklahoma's winter wheat as good to excellent at the end of February.

CBOT May soybeans were down 3-1/2 cents at $8.57-1/2 per bushel after touching $8.57, the contract's lowest since Jan. 6, and May corn was down 1 cent at $3.56 a bushel after hitting $3.55-3/4, its lowest since Jan. 12.

Commerzbank said in a market update that demand for U.S. corn looked set to fall short of supply in the coming 2016/17 crop year and the stocks-to-use ratio could climb to its highest level in 11 years.

"There can be no talk of any risk of tight corn, wheat or soybean supply. As such, prices will remain low for the foreseeable future," Commerzbank said.

Related Topics: CROPSWHEAT
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