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Wheat, soybeans reach nine-year highs as Russia invades Ukraine

Wheat, soybeans reach nine-year highs as Russia invades Ukraine

February 25, 2022: -U.S. wheat and corn futures rose by their daily trading limits on Thursday. At the same time, soybeans scaled the highest since 2012, as Russian forces fired missiles at Ukraine and landed troops on its south coast, exacerbating worries more than global supplies.

Wheat increased for a third day, scaling its highest in more than nine years, while corn climbed to a fresh eight-month peak.

On Thursday, shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke in a televised address on state TV, explosions could be heard in the pre-dawn quiet of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

Putin is authorizing a military operation in eastern Ukraine in what appeared to be the start of the war in Europe over Russia’s demands to end NATO’s eastward expansion.

“Heightened tensions nearly Russia-Ukraine and a fair amount of uncertainty regarding Russian supplies over the coming months have prompted traders to keep their grain at home instead of shipping it overseas,” ING commodity strategists said in a note.

With Russia and Ukraine accounting for nearly  29% of global wheat exports, 19% of world corn supplies, and 80% of world sunflower oil exports, traders were worried that any military engagement could impact crop movement and trigger a huge scramble by importers to replace supplies from the Black Sea region.

“Russia-Ukraine problems exacerbated supply risks for the global market,” the ING strategists said, citing still-soft wheat exports from the European Union.

An active Chicago Board of Trade May wheat contract soared nearly 5.7% to $9.34-3/4 a bushel, the highest since July 2012.

Corn reached up to 4.7% at $7.13 a bushel, as of 0448 GMT, having reached a limit-up at $7.16-1/4, its loftiest since June 10.

May soybeans are gaining 1.6% to $16.97 a bushel, advancing for a sixth session. Earlier, it reaches its highest since September 2012 at $17.19-1/2.

In China, soymeal futures rallied to a record high even as the government plans to release soybeans from reserves between worries over tight supplies in the market.

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Wheat, soybeans reach nine-year highs as Russia invades Ukraine