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U.S. wheat futures plummet; corn, soybeans firm on strong exports

U.S. wheat futures fell on Thursday, with the most-active Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat contract Wv1 plunging 7.7% as traders said the rally sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had made the grain too expensive for potential buyers.

“The market is pausing to catch its breath a bit,” said Jim Gerlach president of commodities broker A/C Trading in Indiana. “It overshot fair value so the market is going to hash it out here and figure out where real demand lies in terms of prices.”

Benchmark Chicago wheat futures tumbled by their daily limit on Wednesday after surging 54% since the fighting between those two key global exporters started.

CBOT corn and soybean futures rallied, supported by signs that export demand for U.S. supplies will remain strong following a drought in South American that withered crops in competitors Brazil and Argentina.

At 10:45 a.m. CST (16CC GMT) CBOT May wheat futures were down 92 cents at $11.09-1/2 a bushel.

In Europe, May wheat BL2K2 on Paris-based Euronext edged higher, firming 0.4% to 373.75 euros a tonne but remained will below its session peak of 390.25.

Talk that French wheat could supply most of a large tender purchase by Algeria fuelled expectations of extra demand for European Union wheat to replace Ukrainian and Russian supplies, which account for about 30% of global wheat exports.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Thursday morning that weekly export sales of wheat totalled 370,200 tonnes. Analysts’ forecasts for the weekly total ranged from 250,000 to 700,000 tonnes.

CBOT May corn CK2 was up 17-3/4 cents at $7.50-3/4 a bushel and CBOT May soybeans were 20-1/2 cents higher at $16.92-1/4 a bushel.

USDA reported weekly corn export sales of 2.167 million tonnes, topping market expectations, and soybean export sales of 3.099 million tonnes, up 38% from a week earlier.
Source: Reuters (Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore Editing by Subhranshu Sahu, David Goodman and Alison Williams)

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