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Wheat rallies for fourth day on Ukrainian supply woes; soybeans firm

Chicago wheat futures extended gains to a fourth consecutive session on Thursday, trading close to a near two-month high hit in the previous session on concerns over Black Sea supplies.

Soybeans edged higher, although gains were limited by higher Argentine exports and lower imports by China.

“The catalyst for the gains was Russia’s President criticising Ukraine’s Black Sea export corridor for not sending more grain to poorer countries,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

“More importantly, the Russian President went on to say that he might seek to restrict the routes (and so destinations) taken by ships using the corridor. The wheat market is, naturally, sensitive to any suggestion the corridor might be closed or, as in this case, it will be ‘narrowed’.”

The most-active wheat contract of the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) added 0.3% to $8.46-3/4 a bushel, as of 0211 GMT after climbing on Wednesday to its highest since July 11 at $8.73-1/2 a bushel.

Corn rose 0.3% to $6.73-1/4 a bushel and soybeans were up 0.4% at $13.89-1/4 a bushel.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday Russia and the developing world had been “cheated” by a UN-brokered Ukrainian grain export deal, vowing to look to revise its terms to limit the countries that can receive shipments.

Senior U.N. and Russian officials met in Geneva to discuss Russian complaints that Western sanctions were impeding its grain and fertilizer exports despite the deal to boost Russian and Ukrainian shipments.

While the United States and others have stressed that Russian food and fertilizer is not subject to sanctions imposed over Moscow’s Feb. 24 invasion of its neighbour, Russia has asserted there has been a chilling effect on its exports.

Wheat prices had been pressured in recent weeks by an increasing flow of Ukrainian shipments through the Black Sea corridor, along with falling prices for Ukrainian and Russian supplies.

In the soybean market, higher supplies from Argentina and slowing Chinese demand are expected to weigh on prices.

Argentine farmers sold a total of 2.13 million tonnes of soybeans on Monday and Tuesday, surpassing in just two days the 667,000 tonnes sold last week after the government established a preferential exchange rate for soybean exports, the Rosario Stock Exchange said Wednesday.

China’s soybean imports in August were down 24.5% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Wednesday.

Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT wheat and soymeal futures contracts on Wednesday and net sellers of soybean, corn and soyoil futures, traders said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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