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SINGAPORE: Chicago wheat and corn futures rose more than 1% on Monday, as Russia’s attacks on Ukraine’s port infrastructure raised concerns over Black Sea grain supply disruptions.

Soybeans jumped nearly 1%, rising for the first time in three sessions.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) climbed 1.3% to $7.06-3/4 a bushel, as of 0034 GMT, and corn rose 1.6% to $5.44-3/4 a bushel. Soybeans added 0.8% to $14.13-1/4 a bushel.

Russia pounded Ukrainian food export facilities for a fourth day in a row on Friday and practised seizing ships in the Black Sea in an escalation of what Western leaders say is an attempt to wriggle out of sanctions by threatening a global food crisis.

Russia said its Black Sea fleet had practised firing rockets at “floating targets” and it would deem all ships heading for Ukrainian waters to be potentially carrying arms.

Kyiv responded with a similar warning about ships headed to Russia.

The number of ships looking to pick up grain cargoes from the Black Sea area has fallen 35% this week versus the previous week with growing uncertainty over whether commercial traffic could be hit as Russia continues to pound food facilities in Ukraine.

The soft wheat harvest ran slightly ahead of average by July 17 and winter barley cuttings were virtually complete, with grain crop conditions unchanged from the previous week, farm office France AgriMer said on Friday.

The office said in a crop report that French farmers had harvested 58% of the soft wheat crop by Monday, up from 33% a week earlier and an average of 53% but well behind last year’s fast pace of 79%.

Large speculators increased their net short position in CBOT corn futures in the week to July 18, regulatory data released on Friday showed.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly commitments of traders report also showed that noncommercial traders, a category that includes hedge funds, increased their net short position in CBOT wheat and raised their net long position in soybeans.

Asian shares marked time on Monday ahead of an action packed week of earnings and central bank meetings that will likely see higher rates in Europe and the United States, and possibly the end of the tightening cycle in both.

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