Saturday, May 21

Chicago wheat steadies after fall on Russia-Ukraine ceasefire hopes


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BEIJING — Chicago wheat futures edged higher on Wednesday after tumbling in the previous session, following peace talks between Russia and Ukraine in Turkey that raised hopes of a ceasefire in a conflict that has disrupted global grains supply.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) rose 0.2% to $10.11-1/4 a bushel. Corn climbed 0.79% to $7.32 a bushel while soybeans edged 0.53% higher to $16.51-3/4 a bushel.

The month-long conflict between the world’s two major grains exporters has disrupted global supplies and lifted prices of major agriculture products.

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Russia promised on Tuesday to scale down military operations in Ukraine, but the United States warned the threat was not over as Ukraine proposed adopting a neutral status in a sign of progress at face-to-face negotiations.

“Chances for a ceasefire are high, as neither side can afford a long-lasting war,” said an Asia-based trader.

“But the markets remain worried,” said the trader, who declined to be named as he was not authorized to talk to the media.

The most-active soybean meal futures on Dalian Commodity Exchange in China slid 2.3% to 4,122 yuan ($648.23) per tonne in early Wednesday trade while rapeseed meal futures on Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange fell 1.5 %.

China’s corn futures prices edged down 0.38% to 2,849 yuan per tonne.

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“China’s plan to release 500,000 tonnes of soybeans from its state reserves (this week) was the main reason for the soymeal price fall,” said Zhu Rongping, analyst with the agriculture division under Mysteel, a China-based commodity consultancy.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is scheduled to release its report on plantings intentions at 1600 GMT on Thursday.

“Then there is the USDA report on plantings. The market expect soybean acreage to increase,” Zhu said.

Analysts were expecting the report to show lower corn seeding and higher soybean plantings.

Nerves in the grains markets were also alleviated as buyers actively sought alternative origins to replace supplies from the Black Sea.

A delegation from Egypt will visit India next week to discuss wheat imports.

Commodity funds were net sellers of Chicago Board of Trade corn, wheat, soybean, soymeal and soyoil futures contracts on Tuesday, traders said.

Stock markets tore higher across the world on Tuesday and oil prices shed $2 a barrel, as investors celebrated signs of progress in negotiations between Russia and Ukraine that they hoped would lead to a settlement in a five-week conflict.

($1 = 6.3589 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Hallie Gu and Dominique Patton; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)



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