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SINGAPORE: Chicago wheat futures rose more than 1% on Wednesday with the market gaining for the first time in three sessions on concerns over slowing supplies from the war-torn Black Sea region.

Soybeans lost ground as supplies from freshly harvested US crop entered the market, while corn ticked higher.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up 1.3% at $9.15 a bushel, as of 0253 GMT. Corn rose 0.3% to $6.84-3/4 a bushel and soybeans gave up 0.1% to $13.81-3/4 a bushel.

“Grain shipments from Ukraine are slowing down as an escalation of war between Russia and Ukraine is hitting cargo movement,” said one Singapore-based trader.

“We see further impact on exports from the Black Sea region as winter reduces the pace of shipments.”

Russian winter wheat sowing accelerates after rain

Market participants continue to monitor tensions between Russia and Ukraine, which are among the world’s leading grain exporters.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said his country’s military had made major, rapid advances against Russian forces and freed dozens of towns in the south and east over the last week.

The pace of sowing winter wheat in Ukraine for the 2023 harvest is three times lower than last year’s figures, data provided by the agriculture ministry showed on Tuesday.

Farms had sown 1.1 million hectares of winter wheat, as of Oct. 3, or 27% of the expected area, compared with 3.1 million hectares sown at the same period in 2021, the data showed.

The ministry gave no reason for the decrease while local officials and analysts say rains across most of the country and a lack of funds are the main reasons for the delay.

Seasonal pressure from an expanding US harvest weighed on soybean prices, while traders awaited more information about the size of US crops.

Commodity brokerage StoneX raised its estimate of the average US corn yield to 173.9 bushels per acre (bpa), from 173.2 previously, but lowered its corn production estimate to 14.056 billion bushels, from 14.168 billion last month.

For soybeans, StoneX lowered its forecast of the US 2022 yield to 51.3 bpa from its Sept. 1 figure of 51.8.

The firm forecast US soybean production at 4.442 billion bushels, down from 4.515 billion previously.

Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT soybean, corn and soyoil futures contracts on Tuesday and net sellers of soymeal and wheat futures, traders said.

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