Wheat ends higher in turnaround from nearly four-week low


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CHICAGO, Jan 5 (Reuters) –

Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures turned higher on short covering and bargain buying on Thursday after dropping to their lowest price in almost four weeks, analysts said.

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Corn and soybeans set two-week lows as concerns about demand and economic headwinds, including the impact of surging COVID-19 cases in China, continued to hang over agricultural markets. Wall Street’s main indexes also fell on increasing fears of elevated interest rates for longer than expected.

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“For this most part this is macro,” said Ted Seifried, vice president and chief market strategist for Zaner Ag Hedge. “This is risk off. This is concern about China and the COVID situation over there.”

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade ended up 1-1/4 cents at $7.46-3/4 a bushel. The contract earlier set its lowest price since Dec. 9 at $7.36 a bushel.

Most actively traded soybeans closed down 12-3/4 cents at $14.70-3/4 a bushel after touching their lowest price since Dec. 22 at $14.65 a bushel. Corn hit its lowest price since Dec. 20 at $6.48-1/2 before finishing 1 cent lower at $6.52-3/4 a bushel.

“There’s a lot of doubt about demand, not just for grains but global demand for commodities as a whole,” Seifried said.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday is expected to report total weekly export sales last week were 200,000 tonnes to 675,000 tonnes for wheat; 400,000 tonnes to 1.2 million tonnes for corn; and 400,000 tonnes to 1.325 million tonnes for soybeans, analysts said.

For wheat, the availability of abundant low-priced supplies from Russia and Ukraine are giving stiff competition to other global exporters, traders said.

Traders also monitored weather in drought-hit Argentina, the world’s largest exporter of soyoil and soymeal. Recent rains boosted 2022/23

soybean plantings

after delays, the Buenos Aires grains exchange said. Upcoming showers will reduce the stress on crops in southern and western areas, Commodity Weather Group said. (Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago. Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris; Editing by Uttaresh.V, Frances Kerry, David Evans and Richard Chang)


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