Wheat futures fell 19.75 cents--or 3%--to US$6.3975/bushel in Chicago trading March 27, as recent rainfall in crop-producing states makes traders more optimistic about this year's harvest

Andrew Rogers

Andrew Rogers

Mar 27, 2012 – Associated Press

NEW YORK , March 27, 2012 () – Wheat futures closed down 3 percent Tuesday as recent rainfall in crop-producing states makes traders more optimistic about this year's harvest.

Wheat for May delivery fell 19.75 cents to settle at $6.3975 a bushel. Corn and soybeans also fell, but not as much.

Crop conditions have been improving in key U.S. growing states such as Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma, said Brandon Marshall, a commodity trader with Northstar Commodity in Minneapolis.

Recent rains those states came at an important time for the wheat crop, Marshall said, just as the snow is melting and wheat is coming out of dormancy. A report on crop conditions that came out late Monday was better than the week before, Marshall said.

May corn fell 7 cents to $6.3075 a bushel. Soybeans fell 9.75 cents to $13.697 a bushel.

Metals and energy products were mostly lower.

Gold for April delivery fell 70 cents to $1,684.90 an ounce and May silver fell 13.4 cents to $32.616 per ounce.

May copper fell 0.75 cents to end at $3.88 per pound, April platinum increased $10.80 to $1,654.70 per ounce and June palladium fell $5.75 to $663 per ounce.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 30 cents to $107.33 per barrel.

Natural gas futures fell 1.8 cents to $2.21 per 1,000 cubic feet, a 10-year low and half of what natural gas was fetching back in July. Oversupply and mild winter weather have contributed to the plunge.

Heating oil fell 1 cent to $3.22 per gallon and gasoline futures dropped 1.1 cents to $3.41 per gallon.

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