Wheat Hits 3-Month High on Talk of Kansas Frost Threat
CHICAGO (AP) _ Wheat futures prices zoomed to a three-month high Friday on the Chicago Board of Trade amid talk of freezing temperatures headed for Kansas.
Oat futures also rose. Corn and soybean futures were narrowly mixed.
Wheat futures jumped late in the session as talk circulated that a private meteorologist had forecast freezing temperatures in northwestern Kansas for early Monday morning. The forecasting firm, Central Weather Service, declined to comment on the rumor.
It is not too late in the spring for damaging frost in Kansas, the nation’s largest wheat producer.
``We had one in 1981 during Mother’s Day that was the worst Kansas ever saw,″ said Steve Freed, research director for ADM Investor Services Inc. in Chicago.
Grain analyst Jerry Gidel of Dean Witter, Discover and Co., said temperatures would have to fall to 25 or 26 degrees to significantly damage the Kansas winter wheat crop.
Wheat in southwestern Kansas was damaged by a mid-April freeze.
Wheat for May delivery rose 4 3/4 cents to $3.71 1/2 a bushel, the highest daily settlement for near-term deliveries since Feb. 13; May corn was unchanged at $2.52 1/4 a bushel; May oats rose 1 1/2 cents to $1.44 1/2 a bushel; May soybeans rose 1/2 cent to $5.59 3/4 a bushel.
Livestock and meat futures sagged on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, reflecting abundant cattle and hog supplies and forecasts for rain this weekend in much of the country. Rainy weather could reduce consumer demand for beef for outdoor grilling.
June live cattle fell 0.12 cent to 59.15 cents a pound; May feeder cattle fell 0.25 cent to 63.15 cents a pound; June live hogs fell 0.50 cent to 41 cents a pound; May frozen pork bellies fell 0.40 cent to 37.87 cents a pound.