CHICAGO: US wheat futures advanced on Monday amid fears that Russia may invade Ukraine and disrupt grain shipments from the region, traders said.

Soybean futures weakened at the Chicago Board of Trade, while corn was little changed after reaching a seven-month high.

Wheat traders kept their attention on Russia because it is the world’s top wheat exporter while Ukraine is projected to be No. 4.

An interruption to the flow of grain out of the Black Sea region could add fuel to food inflation and slow shipments to places like the Middle East, analysts said.

“Traders are adding some risk premium with the threat of conflict between Russia and Ukraine rising,” brokerage CHS Hedging said.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up 13 cents at $7.93 a bushel as of 10:35 a.m. CST (1635 GMT). The market last week climbed to a peak of $8.02-3/4, the highest level since late December.

CBOT soybeans fell 16 cents to $19.98-1/4 a bushel. Corn was down 1/4 cent at $6.16 a bushel after trading earlier to $6.19-1/2, its highest price since June.

Expectations for US export demand and concerns about dry, hot weather hurting production in South America have support boost corn and soy futures recently. However, improving crop weather in Argentina and Brazil weighed on prices on Monday, traders said.

“Brazil and Argentina received much needed rains over the weekend,” CHS Hedging said.

In demand news, exporters, in separate deals, sold 150,000 tonnes of US corn to unknown buyers and 132,000 tonnes of US soy to China, the US Department of Agriculture said.


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