PARIS/CANBERRA: Chicago wheat prices edged lower on Friday, consolidating after a rally fuelled by renewed concerns over war risks to Black Sea trade, with investors turning their attention to US jobs data.
Corn futures were little changed, while soybeans rose slightly in subdued trading before the closely watched monthly US jobs figures, which will give another pointer to interest rate policy in the world’s biggest economy.
The most-active Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat futures were down 0.4% at $5.76 a bushel by 1048 GMT, after climbing more than 3% on Thursday. The day-earlier jump was fanned by reports that a cargo ship hit a mine in the Black Sea, reviving concerns about the precarious status of exports from war-torn Ukraine.
Reaction to the news subsided on Friday as the vessel suffered only minor damage. However, the doubts over Ukraine’s capacity to ramp up sea exports underscored expectations that the wheat market was bottoming out, after a three-year low last week that had reflected ample short-term supply from the Black Sea region.
Moreover, Ukraine’s agriculture minister said the country was likely to sow less winter wheat than it initially expected for the 2024 harvest due to dryness.
“Tighter wheat supply from Ukraine is therefore likely to continue to lend support to prices,” Commerzbank said in a note. Drought in Argentina and Australia was also raising the prospect of reduced wheat export supply later this season. CBOT corn was unchanged on the day at $4.97-1/2 a bushel after earlier touching a new one-month peak. Soybeans were 0.3% higher at $12.84-3/4 a bushel.