That sent prices of the type of wheat in question, hard red spring wheat, soaring. Futures have surged more than 6% percent this week to end Wednesday at $9.1675 a bushel, a two-month high. It’s referred to as “spring” wheat because what’s when it’s planted.
Traders caught on to the new data set, posted on the USDA’s web site, earlier this week and latched on to figures indicating that the size of the nation’s prized fall wheat crop could be smaller than expected.
Supplies of this wheat, which is used to make bread flour and is in high demand by other countries, have tightened since a historic drought hurt the spring harvest in states like Texas and Oklahoma.
This new data showed that more than 2.6 million acres, mostly in the northern U.S. Plains, didn’t get planted as planned. The number undercut previous U.S. government estimates.