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Wheat edges up, focus remains on Russia-Ukraine tensions

Chicago wheat futures were higher on Monday as the market continued to keep a close watch on tensions between Russia and Ukraine while corn and soybean prices eased.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up 0.5% at $7.84 a bushel as of 1137 GMT after climbing last week to a peak of $8.02-3/4 – the highest level since late December.

Commerzbank, in a market update, attributed to the market’s recent strength to the situation in Ukraine although noted that most of the wheat exports anticipated for the 2021/22 season had already happened.

The International Grains Council has forecast that Ukraine will export 24.5 million tonnes of wheat in the 2021/22 season which would make it the world’s fourth largest exporter trailing only Russia, the European Union and Australia.

Ukraine has so far exported 16.6 million tonnes, or 68% of that total, according to government data.

The European Union is ready to impose “never-seen-before” economic sanctions on Russia if it attacks Ukraine, Denmark said on Monday, and EU foreign ministers said they would send a unified warning to Moscow.

March wheat on Paris-based Euronext rose 1.2% to 275.75 euros a tonne.

Large speculators trimmed a net short position in CBOT wheat futures in the week to Jan. 18, regulatory data released on Friday showed.

Dealers noted a stronger dollar weighed on both CBOT corn and soybean prices.

The dollar rose on Monday, lifted by the tension between Russia and the West over Ukraine and the possibility of a more hawkish stance from the Federal Reserve this week.

CBOT soybeans fell 0.4% to $14.08-1/4 a bushel and corn was down 0.45% at $6.13-1/2 a bushel.
Source: Reuters (Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Rashmi Aich and David Evans)

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