U.S. wheat dropped on Wednesday as traders awaited agricultural reports due this week that will update the status of the U.S. and global crop production and stockpiles.
The lack of demand for the commodity from traders pushed the value down as they were waiting for fresh price direction from key reports from the U.S. Agriculture Department on Friday. Analysts expect sales to be 150,000 to 400,000 metric tons.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, March wheat fell 18 cents to $8.89 1/2 per bushel, the contract's lowest close since December 31. Kansas City Board of Trade March wheat slid 20 1/4 to $8.89, and Minneapolis Grain Exchange March wheat slipped 13 cents to $10.30.
A survey done by Dow Jones showed that analysts expect the USDA report to show a significant increase in plantings after U.S. wheat futures rallied to new all-time highs in 2007. The average of analysts' estimates for seedings is 48.657 million acres, up from 44.987 million a year earlier.
The average of analysts' estimates for wheat ending stocks is 274 million bushels, down from 280 million in December, according to a survey. The average of analysts' estimates for wheat stocks as of Dec. 1 is 1.116 billion bushels, down from 1.315 billion a year earlier, according to the survey.
Wheat trading lacked fresh demand news this week. In routine business dealings, four South Korean flour mills bought 21,300 metric tons of U.S. No. 1 wheat, with delivery expected in April.
The U.S. Agriculture Department's latest weekly export sales report on Friday showed U.S. wheat export sales totaled 118,700 tones for the week ended Dec. 27, down 60 percent from the previous week.