GRAINS-Wheat near 3-week high amid concerns over Russian shipments

Credit: REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli

Adds analyst comment, updates prices

CANBERRA, March 26 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures rose on Tuesday and were trading near a three-week high, supported by concerns that exports from top supplier Russia could be disrupted by a dispute between shippers and regulators over grain quality.

Soybean and corn futures fell ahead of a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) planting intentions report due on Thursday that could move the markets.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Wv1 was up 0.2% at $5.56 a bushel by 0113 GMT after reaching $5.67 on Monday, its highest since March 4.

Prices had slipped to $5.23-1/2 this month, their lowest since 2020, due to huge supply from Russia, and speculators are betting that prices will fall.

"Increased uncertainty over the future of export flows should be supportive of short-term prices," said Dennis Voznesenski, an analyst at Commonwealth Bank in Sydney.

"However, rising Russian wheat production estimates are limiting the upside potential," he said. "The reality of large Black Sea and U.S. wheat crops coming to the market by mid-year... should weigh on markets, assuming no substantial disruption to Black Sea exports."

Russian authorities are preventing the processing and shipment of about 400,000 metric tons of grains, the owner of one of Russia's largest grain exporters, TD RIF, said on Monday.

Authorities say their action follows complaints from importing countries about the non-compliance of Russian grain quality with quarantine requirements.

Traders were already concerned about the impact on Ukrainian wheat exports of Russian attacks on Ukraine's port and energy infrastructure.

Meanwhile, winter grain crops are in mediocre condition in large parts of the European Union, EU crop monitoring service MARS said.

However, analysts predict that shipments from Russia could set a new March record of 5 million tons this month.

In other crops, CBOT soybeans Sv1 were down 0.5% at $12.03-3/4 a bushel and corn Cv1 fell 0.2% to $4.36-3/4 a bushel.

Both have risen in recent weeks but remain near their lowest levels since 2020 amid plentiful supply.

Consultants AgRural said Brazil's 2023/24 soybean harvest had reached 69% of the planted area, as of last Thursday, slightly below the 70% seen at the same time a year earlier.

Traders are waiting for the USDA planting intentions report due on Thursday, with analysts predicting an increase in soybean area and declines in corn and wheat area.

(Reporting by Peter Hobson; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Subhranshu Sahu)


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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