Friday, June 9

Chicago grains higher after week of Black Sea doubts, China demand

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Chicago wheat rallied on Friday amid market talk of Russia possibly halting wheat exports, while corn futures continued to climb and closed higher for the second week in a row on hearty Chinese demand.

Russian business newspaper Vedomosti reported that Moscow could recommend a temporary halt in wheat and sunflower exports. Later, though, sources told Reuters that Russia has no plans to halt wheat exports – but wants exporters to ensure prices paid to farmers are high enough to cover a sufficient age production costs.

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CBOT May soft red winter wheat settled up 26-1/2 cents at $6.88-1/2 per bushel, with the most-active contract rebounding from $6.54 earlier in the week, its lowest since July 2021.

“Wheat has been beat up so badly that any reaction is going to go significantly higher,” said Jack Scoville, market analyst at The Price Futures Group.

CBOT May corn settled up 11-1/4 cents at $6.43 per bushel, with the most-active contract closing higher for the second week in a row.

Soybeans settled up 8-3/4 cents at $14.28-1/4 per bushel, rebounding after the most-active contract fell to $14.05 during the week, the lowest since Nov. 4.

Corn hit its highest price since February after a flurry of US exports to China. Private exporters reported another sale of 204,000 tons of corn to China, the US Agriculture Department said Friday, bringing the total to more than 2.75 million tons since March 14.

Continued Chinese demand for US corn was fueled by the end of Brazil’s season as it prepared to export soybeans instead, Scoville added.

“That means we’re going to do the farm business for a lot of the world, and we’re seeing that manifested in the current price action here over the last couple of weeks,” Scoville said. (Reporting by Cassandra Garrison in Mexico City, Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Kirsten Donovan)