Wheat rises from 2-week low, Black Sea supplies limit gains


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SINGAPORE — Chicago wheat futures edged higher on Thursday, rising for the first time in three sessions on bargain-buying, although ample supplies from the Black Sea region provided a lid on prices.

Soybeans and corn ticked higher, with both contracts reclaiming some of the previous session’s losses.

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“There are expectations of higher exports from Russia and the rest of the Black Sea area, which is adding pressure on prices,” said one Singapore-based trader.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) added 0.1% to $7.46-1/2 a bushel, as of 0331 GMT, after dropping to its lowest since Dec. 19 at $7.44 a bushel in the previous session.

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Soybeans were up quarter of a cent at $14.83-3/4 a bushel and corn rose 0.4% to $6.56-1/4 a bushel.

Abundant low-priced wheat supplies from Russia and Ukraine are giving stiff competition to U.S. exporters.

Russia’s January wheat exports will remain high for this time of the July-June marketing season – near at least 3.6 million tonnes – after a huge 2022 grain crop, analysts said.

Russia, the world’s largest wheat exporter, harvested a record grain crop of 151.0 million tonnes after drying and cleaning, including 102.7 million tonnes of wheat, according to preliminary official 2022 data.

Ukraine’s efforts to increase exports under the Black Sea grain deal with Russia are currently focused on securing faster inspections of ships rather than including more ports in the initiative, a senior Ukrainian official said on Wednesday.

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There is additional pressure on agricultural commodity prices from worries about economic headwinds, including the impact of a surge of COVID-19 cases in China, were encouraging selling in commodities, analysts said.

In the U.S. Plains, condition ratings for the winter wheat crop fell during December in Kansas, but increased in Colorado and Oklahoma, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said late on Tuesday.

For soybeans, Argentine farmers have so far sold 80.1% of the 2021/22 harvest, the country’s agriculture ministry said on Wednesday, slightly behind the 80.5% sold during the same period in the previous cycle.

The USDA said separately on Wednesday that exporters struck deals to sell 124,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to unknown destinations.

Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, wheat, soybean, soyoil and soymeal futures contracts on Wednesday, traders said. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Uttaresh.V)


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