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Wheat at 1-week high as frigid U.S. weather lifts supply worries

Chicago wheat futures rose to a one-week high on Tuesday, gaining more than 2%, as frigid temperatures in key U.S. growing areas raised worries about global supplies.

Soybeans rose for a third consecutive session while corn bounced back.

“There are worries about winter kill for grains in the U.S.,” said Ole Houe, director of advisory services at agriculture brokerage IKON Commodities. “We think it is bit early to get worried but that is what is driving prices higher today.”

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade was up 2.3% at $6.51-1/2 a bushel, as of 0328 GMT, after hitting its highest since Feb. 9 at $6.57 a bushel earlier in the session.

Soybeans gained 1.2% at $13.88-3/4 a bushel and corn added 1.4% to $5.46 a bushel.

Commodity Weather Group last week estimated that 10% of the U.S. soft wheat crop and 15% of the hard wheat crop were at risk of damage from winterkill caused by freezing temperatures.

Offering more support to agricultural commodities, global shares looked to extend their bull run to a 12th consecutive session on the back of optimism about an economic recovery.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday said private exporters reported the sale of 195,338 tonnes of corn to Costa Rica and 115,577 tonnes of corn to Guatemala.

Large speculators raised their net long positions in Chicago Board of Trade corn futures in the week ended Feb. 9, regulatory data released on Friday showed.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly commitments of traders report also showed that non-commercial traders, a category that includes hedge funds, increased their net short position in CBOT wheat and raised their net long position in soybeans.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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