Friday, February 3

Wheat hits 3-month low on Black Sea supplies, China protests


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SINGAPORE — Chicago wheat slid around 1.5% on Monday to its lowest in three months, with supplies from the Black Sea region and rare protests in China against the country’s strict zero-COVID policy weighing on markets.

Soybeans and corn both lost ground.

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“A more steady flow of grain from Ukraine plus a lack of major production issues from key exporters, except Argentina, has kept the market in a steady downtrend,” Hightower said in a report.

“In addition, US wheat is not competitive on the world markets.”

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The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade was down 1.5% at $7.85 a bushel, as of 0338 GMT, after hitting its lowest since Aug. 26 at $7.84 earlier in the session.

Soybeans gave up 0.7% to $14.26-1/2 a bushel and corn lost 1% to $6.64-3/4 a bushel.

The wheat market is being pressured by supplies from the Black Sea region, which are giving stiff competition to US exports.

Stocks and oil slid sharply as rare protests in major Chinese cities against the country’s strict zero-COVID curbs raised worries about management of the virus in the world’s second-largest economy.

Protests in China also raised concerns over demand, weighing on prices.

Demonstrators and police clashed in Shanghai on Sunday night as protests over the country’s stringent COVID restrictions flared for a third day. There were also protests in Wuhan, Chengdu and parts of the capital Beijing late on Sunday as COVID restrictions were put in place in an attempt to quell fresh outbreaks.

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Argentina on Friday announced a more generous exchange rate for US dollars brought in through soy exports until the end of the year, seeking to rev up exports of its top cash crop and bring much-needed dollars to central bank coffers.

Indian farmers have planted wheat on 15.3 million hectares since Oct. 1, when the current sowing season began, up nearly 11% from a year ago, government data showed on Friday, as record high prices have encouraged planting.

Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn futures contracts on Wednesday, and net sellers of soybean, soyoil, wheat and soybeanmeal futures contracts, traders said. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Uttaresh.V)



financialpost.com