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Wheat turns sharply lower as traders overlook Ukrainian tensions

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Investing.com -

Investing.com - U.S. wheat prices turned sharply lower on Monday, as investors locked in gains from a recent rally as markets appeared to shrug off referendum ramifications in Crimea.

Results showed that nearly 97% of voters in Crimea chose to break away from Ukraine and join Russia in a referendum on Sunday. The outcome of the vote had been widely anticipated.

Market players now awaited the West's response to Crimea's vote to join Russia, which was deemed illegal by the European Union and the U.S.

Western countries have threatened to ratchet up sanctions against Russia if it does not back down on annexing Crimea.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, wheat for May delivery rose to a session high of $6.9413 a bushel, before turning lower to last trade at $6.7500 a bushel during U.S. morning hours, down 1.9%, or 13 cents.

The May wheat contract rallied 2%, or 13.4 cents, on Friday to settle at $6.8720 a bushel.

The May wheat contract ended last week with a gain of 4.83%. During the past two weeks, wheat futures have risen nearly 14%, their biggest two-week rally since July 2012.

Wheat rose to a four-month high of $6.9640 a bushel on March 13 as ongoing concerns over a disruption to supplies from Ukraine due to geopolitical turmoil lifted prices.

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. wheat.

Meanwhile, corn futures for May delivery tumbled 1.8%, or 8.6 cents, to trade at $4.7738 a bushel, as concerns over a slowdown in demand from China weighed.

The May corn contract inched up 0.21%, or 1 cent, on Friday to settle at $4.8600 a bushel amid simmering 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 lost 0.85%, or 11.8 cents, to trade at $13.7663 a bushel.

The May soybean contract lost 4.74% last week amid concerns demand from top consumer China will decline as its economy runs out of steam.

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

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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.


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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