GRAINS-Wheat jumps nearly 40% this week to 14-year high on Russian supply woes

Credit: REUTERS/Sergey Pivovarov

By Naveen Thukral

SINGAPORE, March 4 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures jumped nearly 7% on Friday, taking the weekly gain to almost 40% as Russia's invasion of Ukraine entered a second week, curbing supplies from one the world's top grain exporting regions.

Corn rose to its highest in a decade, while soybeans edged higher.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Wv1 rose 6.7% to $11.91-1/4 a bushel, as of 0217 GMT, the highest since March 2008.

Corn Cv1 gained 2.5% to $7.66-3/4 a bushel and soybeans Sv1 climbed 0.6% to $16.78-1/2 a bushel.

For the week, wheat has risen 38.6%, corn is up 17% and soybeans have added 6%.

Ukrainian ports will remain closed until Russia's invasion ends, the head of Ukraine's Maritime Administration said on Monday, adding that the port of Mariupol has sustained damage from Russian shelling.

Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, calling its actions a "special operation".

Unprecedented Western financial sanctions against Moscow have reduced supplies from Russia, the world's biggest wheat exporter.

Russia and Ukraine account for about 29% of global wheat exports, 19% of corn exports and 80% of exports of sunflower oil, which competes with soyoil.

Demand for U.S. corn perked up as the U.S. Department of Agriculture said exporters sold 337,000 tonnes to unknown destinations for delivery in the 2021/22 marketing year.

Some traders predict the Ukraine conflict could shift up to 300 million bushels of additional demand to the United States, said Karl Setzer, a commodity risk analyst for AgriVisor.

U.S. President Joe Biden's administration is studying whether waiving biofuel blending mandates could help offset a surge in prices for key food ingredients like corn and soyoil following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, soybean and soymeal futures contracts on Thursday and net sellers of soyoil, traders said. COMFUND/CBT

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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