Last update: Sat, 06 Feb 2016 05am

CBOT wheat futures jump to near three-month high

Wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade jumped on Monday to the highest price since early December, on the view that turmoil in Ukraine, a major grain exporter, could shift export demand to the United States, traders said. The uncertainty appeared to trigger short-covering by funds, who hold a net short position in CBOT wheat.

Worries about cold weekend temperatures damaging wheat in roughly 10 percent of the southern US Plains added support in KCBT hard wheat. But markets closed off their session peaks. Front-month CBOT wheat settled at $6.26-3/4 a bushel, up 4.6 percent, after reaching $6.40-1/4, the highest price on a continuous chart since December 9. Most-active CBOT May wheat settled at $6.31-1/2, below its 100-day moving average of $6.34-1/4.

Russia's intervention in Ukraine drove up crude oil and prices for gold and government debt as the heightened tensions spurred investors to seek safe havens and sell any exposure to the region. Ukraine's new agriculture minister said the ministry will make sure political turmoil does not reduce spring grains sowing. USDA reported export inspections of US wheat in the latest week at 609,867 tonnes, topping a range of trade estimates for 300,000 to 425,000 tonnes.

Egypt's new supplies minister said its wheat stocks were enough to last until June after it had imported 4.5 million tonnes since July. Egypt's minister also said he would reconsider a decision to halt rice exports and look into French wheat imports which were excluded after Egypt changed its specification concerning wheat moisture levels, state media reported on Sunday.

Copyright Reuters, 2014