Chicago wheat futures rise 4% on Black Sea supply issues

By Nigel Hunt

LONDON, June 6 (Reuters) – Chicago wheat futures prices soared more than 4% on Monday, boosted by continued supply disruption from Ukraine as weekend storms threatened to dampen the produced in France.

Dealers noted that Russian warships continued to control access to Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, with Russian President Vladimir Putin proposing that grain could be shipped via Belarus, but only if sanctions on the US ally Russia were lifted.

“Russia is trying to put more pressure on the world to lift sanctions by sabotaging the global food supply,” said Ole Houe, director of advisory services at agricultural brokerage firm IKON Commodities in Sydney. “And knowing full well they’re sitting on a big pile of export food this year.”

The most active Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat contract was up 4% at $10.81-1/4 a bushel, as of 11:15 GMT.

Ukraine was the world’s fourth-largest corn exporter and sixth-largest wheat exporter before the Russian invasion, according to data from the International Grains Council.

Concerns over supplies from the Black Sea region were also heightened by news that Russia had attacked the Ukrainian capital Kyiv for the first time in more than a month.

Storms in the EU’s top producer, France, added to the bullish mood.

Farms across France were hit by heavy hail and violent storms this weekend, the National Federation of Agricultural Unions (FNSEA) announced on Monday, following the May drought and as the wheat market is already struggling with high volatility.

September milling wheat on Euronext in Paris rose 3.8% to 392.50 euros per tonne.

Corn prices also rose with the most active Chicago contract up 1.2% at $7.35-1/2 a bushel.

Large speculators reduced their net long positions in CBOT corn futures during the week ended May 31, regulatory data showed Friday.

Chicago soybeans rose 0.8% to $17.11-1/2 a bushel.

(Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore; editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Subhranshu Sahu and Tomasz Janowski)

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