CHICAGO — U.S. wheat futures fell more than 2% on Tuesday as the resumption of maritime grain exports from Ukraine tempered global grain supply concerns, and the dollar rallied, making U.S. wheat less competitive globally.
Corn and soybean futures also fell on an unexpected improvement in weekly U.S. crop conditions.
As of 12:50 p.m. CDT (1750 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade September wheat was down 21 cents at $7.79-1/4 per bushel after dipping to $7.72-3/4, its lowest in a week.
CBOT December corn was down 11-1/2 cents at $5.98-1/4 a bushel and November soybeans were down 10 cents at $13.96 a bushel.
CBOT wheat declined as the first ship to carry Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea since Russia invaded Ukraine was on track to arrive safely in Istanbul on Tuesday night.
Turkey expects roughly one grain ship to leave Ukrainian ports each day as long as an agreement that ensures safe passage holds, a senior Turkish official said after the first wartime vessel safely departed Odesa on Monday.
Traders remained cautious while the war continued.
“Funds sold off positions despite the fact that the pace of activity from Ukrainian ports will obviously not return to pre-conflict levels before a long time,” consultancy Agritel said.
Meanwhile, a pickup in global wheat export business underpinned the market. Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC is believed to have bought around 660,000 tonnes of optional-origin milling wheat in an import tender, European traders said.
“The resumption of Ukraine shipments is being offset by an uptick in global demand,” said Terry Reilly, senior analyst with Futures International in Chicago.
Corn and soy futures sagged on improving U.S. production prospects. In a weekly report released after Monday’s market close, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) showed an improved rating for soybeans while conditions held steady for corn, countering trade expectations for downgrades.
“The crop conditions are kind of dominating the downside in grains,” Reilly said.
However, traders are monitoring forecasts that continue to show hot, dry weather in the week ahead in the western part of the Midwest crop belt. (Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Jan Harvey and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)