By Joanna Levin

FAVOURABLE weather for competing crops in Canada and Australia this week drove down United States wheat returns, driving Chicago futures down 3c on the week to $2.96/bushel (£1.77/bushel) yesterday (Monday, 27 April).

Prices look like they could fall further. Analysts already expect this years US harvest to yield a bumper crop. Light frost damage in south-west Kansas and a lack of rain in west Texas have caused some worries, but farmers remain well ahead with planting.

The US is estimated to be 12% planted, compared with 3% this time last year and a five-year average of 6%. Coupled with large carry-over stocks and poor exports, there is little on the horizon that will put a floor in the market.

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