PARIS/SINGAPORE: Chicago wheat futures jumped over 6% on Friday to hit their daily trading limit on deepening fears that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will cause massive disruption to supply from two of the world’s top grain exporting nations.
Overnight news of a fire at a Ukrainian nuclear power plant as Russian forces seized control of the site added to investor jitters, sending share prices sliding.
Corn rose to its highest in nearly a decade, as the market also wrestled with the potential loss of millions of tonnes of Ukrainian corn exports.
Soybeans edged lower, pressured by improved growing conditions in South America and profit-taking in vegetable oil markets.
The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up by its 75-cent daily limit, or 6.6%, at $12.09 a bushel, a new 14-year high.
The contract had also ended Thursday’s session with a 75-cent limit-up rise.
So far this week the contract is up 40%.
On Euronext, spot March set a new record high for the Paris-based futures market at 401.00 a tonne, reaching the 400-euro threshold for the first time.
“The demand for wheat on the physical market in (nearby) delivery is unprecedented, as buyers face delivery defaults for Black Sea origins,” consultancy Agritel said.
With Ukrainian ports closed and operators reluctant to trade Russian wheat in the face of Western financial sanctions, buyers are trying to find alternatives.