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Wheat gains more ground on strong demand, supply concerns; corn firms

Chicago wheat futures climbed for a second consecutive session on Friday, with strong demand and tight global supplies underpinning the market.

Corn rose for a third straight session, while soybeans extended gains on concerns over hot and dry weather in parts of the U.S. Midwest.

“Wheat prices are cheap, given the current tight supply situation, and we see strong demand coming from key importers,” said one Singapore-based trader.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Wv1 was up 0.7% at $7.87-3/4 a bushel, as of 0313 GMT. Corn Cv1 rose 1% to $6.12 a bushel, while soybeans Sv1 added 0.3% to $14.22-1/4 a bushel.

The wheat market hit its lowest since early February at $7.52 a bushel on Wednesday.

For the week, wheat is down 2.5%, corn has given up almost 1.3% and soybeans have lost more than 3%.

Major challenges remain on exports from the Black Sea region even as Ukrainian grain begins to move out of seaports for the first time since February.

Three ships carrying a total of 58,041 tonnes of corn have been authorised to leave Ukrainian ports on Friday as part of a deal to unblock grain exports, the organisation arranging the operation said on Thursday.

A first vessel carrying Ukrainian grain set sail from Odesa on Monday, arriving at the Bosphorus Strait some 36 hours later under a deal between Russia and Ukraine, brokered by Turkey and the United Nations, that aims to ease a global food crisis stemming from the war.

U.S. weekly wheat net export sales for the new marketing year in the week ended July 28 were 249,900 tonnes and U.S. soybean net export sales were 410,600 tonnes, in line with expectations.

Argentina’s 2022/2023 wheat crop got a much-needed boost last week when rains eased drought conditions afflicting key agricultural areas, the Buenos Aires Exchange said on Thursday.

Persistently dry conditions in recent months have pushed the exchange to cut its estimate for the country’s planted wheat area five times, down to 6.1 million hectares (15 million acres) from the 6.6 million hectares initially expected in May.

Concerns over dry weather in parts of the U.S. Midwest supported corn and soybeans.

Weather service Maxar in a report on Thursday said its 6-10 outlook indicated drier weather in the central and northeastern Midwest, although rains in the Delta and southeastern Midwest should improve moisture for corn and soybean crops there.

Soybeans in key growing areas of the U.S. Midwest will likely face more hot and dry conditions during August, their critical growing month, that could threaten harvest yields, according to weather forecasts.

Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT soybeans, wheat, corn, soymeal and soyoil futures contracts on Thursday, traders said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Subhranshu Sahu)

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