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Corn jumps higher on Chinese demand, wheat rallies on Black Sea doubts

Chicago corn hit a three-week high on Friday, boosted by another large Chinese flash sale that solidified continued demand, with wheat and soybeans also firming as the week closes.

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

Continued Chinese demand for U.S. corn was fuelled by the end of Brazil’s season as it prepares to export soybeans instead, said Jack Scoville, market analyst at The Price Futures Group.

“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.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade Cv1 added 1.82% to $6.43-1/4 a bushel, by 9:40 a.m. CDT (1440 GMT). Earlier it hit $6.45, it’s highest since Feb. 28.

Wheat rallied to its highest price since Feb. 28, as a report Russia may consider halting exports revived uncertainty about Black Sea supply.

“Wheat has been beat up so badly that any reaction is going to go significantly higher,” Scoville added.

CBOT wheat Wv1 climbed 5.4% to $6.97-1/4 a bushel, breaking a four-session fall. CBOT soybeans Sv1 rose 0.37% to $14.24-1/2 a bushel, after dropping earlier to its lowest since end-October at $14.05.

A report in Russian business newspaper Vedomosti saying that Moscow could recommend a temporary halt in wheat and sunflower exports, in response to falling prices, helped the market to steady.

Later, a senior Ukrainian official said the security situation around the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv will have to improve before its ports can be included in the Black Sea grains deal allowing the safe export of Ukrainian grain.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Cassandra Garrison in Mexico City, Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singaore; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Elaine Hardcastle and Jonathan Oatis)

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