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GRAINS-Wheat extends gains to 14-year high on Black Sea supply issues

Band Naveen Thukral

SINGAPORE, March 3 (Reuters)Chicago wheat rose for a fourth straight session on Thursday to hit a 14-year high as damage to Ukraine’s export infrastructure following Russia’s invasion raised concerns about disruptions to longer term supply from the Black Sea region.

Corn rose 1.8% and soybeans 0.8%.

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) most active wheat contract Wv1 was up 5.1% at $11.13 a bushel as of 01:30 GMT, after hitting its highest level since March 2008 at $11.34 a bushel earlier in the session. The wheat market rebounded about 30% in four sessions.

But CV1 rose 1.8% to $7.38 a bushel and soybeans Sv1 climbed 0.8% to $16.76 a bushel.

Ukraine suffered damage to its ports and other export facilities as Russian troops invaded the country, while Western sanctions hit Russian supplies.

Russian troops are in the Ukrainian port city of Kherson and forced their way into the council building, the mayor says after a day of conflicting claims about whether Moscow made the city’s first major gain during his invasion which began eight days ago.

The United States is preparing a sanctions package targeting more Russian oligarchs and their businesses and assets, two sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, as Washington steps up pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia and Ukraine account for around 29% of world wheat exports, 19% of corn exports and 80% of sunflower oil exports, which compete with soybean oil.

The European Union will consider letting farmers use fallow land, including to grow protein crops for livestock feed, to counter supply disruptions from Ukraine, officials said.

In the soybean market, Brazil’s 2021/2022 harvest is expected to be 121.17 million tonnes, according to forecasts by consultancy StoneX, lowering its February projection by 4.2% due to a drought that has affected southern farms.

China bought soybeans from the United States on Tuesday as US shipments were competitive with Brazilian shipments, despite this being the peak period for South American soybean exports.

China has reserved at least five shipments, about 300,000 tonnes, of US soybeans for shipment in April-May, according to an Asia-based trader familiar with the deal.

Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT wheat futures and net sellers of corn, soybean, soybean oil and soybean meal futures on Wednesday, traders said. COMFUND/CBT

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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