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Wheat down 5% on Ukraine grain export deal; corn sags, soy rallies

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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

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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

be eased.

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

exporters.

Meanwhile, export demand for U.S. wheat has been slow,

despite a plunge in futures. CBOT September wheat has

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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

Chicago brokerage.

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

weather note.

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)

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