Corn and wheat fell in Chicago on reduced concern that Russia’s military incursion into Crimea will disrupt grain exports from Ukraine, where ports were reported to be working normally.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday he saw no immediate need to invade Ukraine while leaving open the possibility of using force. Ports in Ukraine were working as usual, according to Eurogal Surveys, which provides information on shipping risk in the country to Lloyd’s of London.
Corn for delivery in May slipped 0.2 percent to $4.835 a bushel at 5:49 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade after touching a six-month high of $4.85 yesterday. Wheat for the same delivery month fell 0.1 percent to $6.4275 a bushel and milling wheat for delivery in May traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris rose 1.2 percent to 206.50 euros ($283.23) a metric ton.
"The markets are still hanging on the evolution of the crisis in Ukraine," Paris-based farm adviser Agritel, which has an office in Kiev, wrote in a market comment. "Black Sea loadings nevertheless continue without noticeable distortion at the moment."
Port and shipping operations mostly continued as normal, with cargo movements out of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports yet to be affected by the escalation, according to Western Bulk ASA, which operates more than 120 vessels moving commodities.
Ukraine, set to be this season’s third-biggest corn exporter and sixth for wheat, put its military on high alert after Russia seized control of Crimea. While export or spring- planting disruptions in Ukraine may bolster prices for now, global inventories are sufficient to offset modest disruptions, said Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
"Easing concerns over export disruption in Black Sea region are weighing on prices," Vanessa Tan, an analyst at Phillip Futures Pte, said by phone from Singapore today.
Ukraine is forecast to export 18.3 million tons of corn in the 2013-14 season through June, ranking behind only Brazil and the U.S., according to the International Grains Council. The nation may boost wheat exports this season to 9.5 million tons, the IGC estimates.
Soybeans for delivery in May were little changed at $14.225 a bushel in Chicago.