Wheat rallies to 4-month high on Ukraine supply concerns

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Investing.com - U.S. wheat prices extended gains from the previous session to hit a four-month high on Thursday, as ongoing concerns over a disruption to supplies from Ukraine boosted hopes for increased demand for U.S. supplies.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, wheat for May delivery rose to a session high of $6.9625 a bushel, the most since October 25. Wheat last traded at $6.8988 a bushel during U.S. morning hours, up 0.8%, or 5.5 cents.

The May wheat contract rallied 3.76%, or 24.6 cents, on Wednesday to settle at $6.8360 a bushel.

Wheat prices surged in recent sessions as ongoing worries over political instability and violence in Ukraine fuelled concerns over a disruption to supplies from one of the world's largest wheat exporters.

Ukraine is forecast to export 10 million tonnes of wheat in the current marketing season, according to the USDA.

A disruption to supplies from Ukraine could mean increased demand for U.S. grains.

Meanwhile, corn futures for May delivery rose 0.65%, or 3.2 cents, to trade at $4.9238 a bushel, the highest since March 7. The May corn contract picked up 1.09%, or 5.2 cents, on Wednesday to settle at $4.8840 a bushel.

Corn prices have been well-supported in recent weeks amid ongoing indications of robust demand for U.S. supplies and amid concerns over a disruption to supplies from Ukraine.

Ukraine is forecast to export 18.5 million tonnes of corn in the current marketing season, representing 16% of global trade, according to the USDA.

Elsewhere on the CBOT, soybeans futures for May delivery inched up 0.03% to trade at $13.8788 a bushel.

Prices of the oilseed tumbled to $13.6540 a bushel on Wednesday, the weakest level since February 24, before trimming losses to settle at $13.8700 a bushel, down 1.84%, or 26 cents.

Wednesday's losses came amid easing concerns over a shortage in global supplies.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture lowered its forecast for U.S. soybean stockpiles on August 31 to 145 million bushels from a previous estimate of 150 million bushels, compared to expectations for a decline to 141 million bushels.

The agency said soybean production in Brazil will total 88.5 million metric tons in the current market season, down from 90 million tons forecast last month. Analysts were looking for a cut to 88.1 million tons.

Soybeans rallied to a six-month high of $14.6000 a bushel on March 7 as hot and dry conditions in key soy-growing regions in Brazil fuelled concerns over crop prospects.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, government figures show. Wheat was fourth, behind hay.

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