Grains Slide as Ukraine’s Exports Continue Amid Crimea Tension

March 17, 2014 03:37 AM
Grains Slide as Ukraine’s Exports Continue Amid Crimea Tension

Corn and wheat fell in Chicago as exports from Ukraine show no sign of slowing amid tension over the Crimea region, which voted yesterday to join Russia.

Ukraine loaded close to 700,000 metric tons of corn last week, according to Paris-based farm adviser Agritel, which has an office in Kiev. A Chinese feed mill bought more than 50,000 tons of Ukraine corn, a purchasing manager said. Ukraine is the third-biggest exporter of corn and sixth-largest in wheat.

"Export activity is not suffering from the delicate situation in which Ukraine and Russia find themselves," Agritel wrote. "Ukraine in the past week chalked up its record for weekly corn loading since the start of the year."

Corn for May delivery fell 1.9 percent to $4.77 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade at 5:41 a.m. after earlier touching $4.765, the lowest in a week. Wheat slumped 2 percent to $6.7325 a bushel.

Preliminary results show that more than 95 percent of voters in the Black Sea region of Crimea chose to leave Ukraine and become part of Russia in a referendum deemed illegal by the European Union and the U.S

A feed mill in southern China bought Ukraine corn, with a vessel being loaded at the Black Sea port of Mykolayiv, a purchasing manager at the mill said.

China, the world’s second-biggest corn user, in October started rejecting some U.S. shipments of the grain containing MIR 162, a gene-modified corn variety developed by Syngenta, which hasn’t been approved in the country.

Milling wheat for November delivery traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris fell 1.2 percent to 199.50 euros ($277.23) a ton.

Wheat entered a bull market on March 12. Hedge funds that were betting on lower prices since early November turned bullish last week, U.S. government data show.

Soybeans lost 0.4 percent to $13.8325 a bushel after slumping 4.8 percent last week.


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