Wheat Extends Climb as Black Sea Tensions May Threaten Supplies

07:59AM Aug 29, 2014
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Wheat rose for a fourth day in Chicago on concern that escalating tension between Russia and Ukraine will reduce supplies from the Black Sea region.

Futures have rebounded 11 percent since touching a four- year low on July 29 as the conflict in the Black Sea region worsened. Separatists in eastern Ukraine are battling government forces on two fronts near the Sea of Azov and south of Donetsk after NATO reported a surge of Russian troops and advanced equipment into the war-zone. Ukraine and Russia account for 21 percent of global wheat exports, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates.

"The situation in eastern Ukraine has put a strong bid into wheat, with the market concerned that wheat from either Russia or Ukraine shall not be available on the world market," economist Dennis Gartman said in an e-mailed report today. "Things are still moving from the ports there, but clearly there is concern that should the ‘war’ escalate those exports will be stopped."

Wheat for December delivery rose 0.6 percent to $5.75 a bushel at 5:42 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching $5.7925 yesterday in intraday trading, the highest since July 3. Prices are set to rise 2.3 percent this week and have rallied 8.4 percent in August.

In Paris, milling wheat for November delivery rose 0.6 percent to 176 euros ($232) a metric ton on Euronext, set for a 3.2 percent increase in August.

Soybeans for November delivery rose 0.4 percent to $10.325 a bushel in Chicago, paring a monthly decline to 4.6 percent. Corn for delivery in December fell 0.3 percent to $3.6825 a bushel, little changed this month.