AGRICULTURE NEWS

WHEAT BOUNCES AFTER MONDAY SLIDE; SOY, CORN SLIP FROM NEAR 7-MONTH HIGHS

Chicago and Paris wheat futures rose on Tuesday to recoup some of Monday’s heavy losses as the market continued to assess geopolitical risks to supplies from Black Sea exporters Russia and Ukraine. U.S. soybean and corn futures ticked down after Monday’s seven-month highs as traders remained focused on dry growing conditions in South America that may shift more demand to the United States. The Lunar New Year holiday in China and other Asia countries was curbing international demand, traders said. The most-active wheat futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) were up 0.4% at $7.64½ a bushel by 1232 GMT. On Monday the contract closed down more than 3% after touching a two-week low. In Europe, March wheat on Euronext added 1.8% after shedding over 4% on Monday. Concerns over Black Sea grain supplies have ebbed as diplomatic dialogue has continued between Russia and the West in their standoff over Ukraine, while exports of Russian and Ukrainian wheat have continued. Even so, tensions remain high, with Moscow and Washington exchanging accusations of “provocative” behavior at the United Nations Security Council on Monday. “Such price volatility shows the complexity of the moment. It is above all geopolitics that is driving the wheat market,” consultancy Agritel said in a note. Monday’s drop in wheat was also supported by forecasts for moisture in some dry U.S. growing belts. On the demand side, Tunisia issued an import tender for soft wheat, durum, and barley, suggesting that the price slide had encouraged buying interest. CBOT soybeans were down 0.3% at $14.86 a bushel, while CBOT corn inched down 0.1% to $6.25½.