Wednesday, October 4

Wheat moves higher; corn, soy hold steady near recent highs

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SINGAPORE — Chicago wheat prices climbed more than 1% on Friday to recover recent losses, as tensions remained high that Russia might invade Ukraine and potentially disrupt grain flows from the key Black Sea region.

US soybean futures lingered just below seven-month highs scaled on Thursday due to concerns about a decline in the South American harvest, while corn also edged back towards recent multi-month highs.

“Traders expect to see significant damage to the crop in South America due to a lack of rain during a key growing period in January, damage that was not reflected in the January USDA supply/demand report,” agri consultancy Hightower said in a note to clients.

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That reduction in South American supplies is in turn spurring analysts to upgrade their US soybean export forecasts in 2022 and tighten estimates for US soybean inventories, said analyst Richard Feltes at brokerage firm RJ O’Brien.

Corn futures tracked soy’s gains, and both crops are set to continue following the same price trends as they compete for acreage in the United States this spring, sources said.

Grain traders are also tracking developments in the Black Sea area after Russia demanded that NATO withdraw troops and weapons earlier this week. Russia said on Thursday it was clear the United States was not willing to address its main security concerns in their standoff over Ukraine, but both sides kept the door open to further dialog.

In global markets, the US dollar was headed for its best week in seven months as traders priced in future US interest rate hikes.

The most-active wheat futures contract was up 1.13% at $7.85-3/4 per bushel, as of 05:46 AM. Soybean futures rose 0.29% to $14.52-1/2 per bushel. Corn was 0.2% higher at $6.26-1 /2 a bushel. (Reporting By Gavin Maguire; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Subhranshu Sahu)