CHICAGO — U.S. wheat futures fell more
than 5% on Friday to their lowest level since February after
Russia and Ukraine signed a landmark deal to reopen Ukrainian
Black Sea ports for grain exports, traders said.
Corn fell about 1% on the news but soybean futures rebounded
from multi-month lows.
As of 12:50 p.m. CDT (1750 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade
September wheat was down 44-1/4 cents at $7.62 per bushel
after dipping to $7.58-1/2, its lowest since Feb. 4.
December corn was down 5-3/4 cents at $5.67-3/4 a
bushel while November soybeans were up 15-1/2 cents at
$13.17, bouncing after a dip to $12.88-1/2, a six-month low.
The Russia-Ukraine accord, which crowned two months of talks
brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, raised hopes that an
international food crisis aggravated by the Russian invasion can
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Istanbul, U.N. Secretary
General Antonio Guterres said the deal opens the way to
significant volumes of commercial food exports from three key
Ukrainian ports – Odesa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny.
Ukraine and Russia are among the world’s biggest grain
Meanwhile, export demand for U.S. wheat has been slow,
despite a plunge in futures. CBOT September wheat has
tumbled more than $5 a bushel, or 41%, since mid-May.
“There is business around on the break in price. But we are
not getting any of it; we are still $40 a tonne over world
values,” said Terry Linn, analyst with Linn & Associates, a
Buyers from China purchased large volumes of Australian and
French wheat this week, European traders said.
CBOT corn faced additional pressure from improving weather
in the U.S. Midwest that should bolster crop prospects.
“Rain is expected across the Corn Belt over the next week,
with the heaviest amounts expected in southern and eastern
portions,” space technology company Maxar said in a daily
Soybeans bounced, although the benchmark November contract
was on track to post a weekly decline of nearly 2%,
reflecting better crop weather and weak domestic cash markets.
“The big story in beans has been the cratering in the basis
over the past couple of weeks,” Linn said, noting that soy
processors have slowed purchases of pricey old-crop soybeans,
opting to wait for the autumn harvest of the 2022 crop.
(Additional reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris, Naveen
Thukral in Singapore and Michael Hogan in Hamburg; editing by
David Evans, Kirsten Donovan)