SINGAPORE: Chicago wheat hit a 14-year high on Thursday, adding more than a quarter to its value this week, as damage to Ukraine's export infrastructure following Russia's invasion raised concerns over long-term supply disruptions from the Black Sea region.
Corn rose 1.8% and soybeans were up 0.8%.
Russia and Ukraine account for about 29% of global wheat exports, 19% of corn exports and 80% of exports of sunflower oil, which competes with soyoil.
"We do wonder about what might happen with season '22 pricing," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. "The world is full of possibility at present. And one of those possibilities is that, somehow, Ukraine and Russia harvests cannot be exported."
The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up 3.3% at $10.76 a bushel by 0244 GMT, after climbing to its highest since March 2008 at $11.34 a bushel earlier in the session. The wheat market has rallied around 25% in just four sessions. Corn rose 2.2% to $7.40-3/4 a bushel and soybeans climbed 1.5% to $16.88 a bushel.
Ukraine has suffered damage to its ports and other export facilities with Russian troops invading the country, while Western sanctions have hit Russian supplies. Russian troops are in the Ukrainian port city of Kherson and forced their way into the council building, the mayor said after a day of conflicting claims over whether Moscow had made the first major gain of a city in its invasion that began eight days ago.
The United States is preparing a sanctions package targeting more Russian oligarchs as well as their companies and assets, two sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, as Washington steps up pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The European Union will consider letting farmers use fallow land, notably to grow protein crops for livestock feed, to counter disruption to supply from Ukraine, officials said.
In the soybean market, Brazil's 2021/2022 crop is likely to be 121.17 million tonnes, StoneX consultancy forecast, cutting 4.2% off its February projection due to a drought that has hurt farms in the south.
China bought soybeans from the United States on Tuesday as American cargoes were competitive against Brazilian shipments, despite it being the peak period for South American soy export.
China booked at least five cargoes, around 300,000 tonnes, of US soybeans for shipment in April-May, according to an Asia-based trader with knowledge of the deal.
Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT wheat futures contracts, and net sellers of corn, soybean, soyoil and soymeal futures contracts on Wednesday, traders said.