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Wheat Falls as Former Soviet Nations May Boost Shipments

Wheat fell in Chicago on speculation exports from former Soviet nations are poised to rise as local weather conditions improve.

Ukrainian grain exports slid 11 percent from January to 1.7 million metric tons last month as wheat shipments declined, the country’s Agrarian Confederation said March 2. Freezing weather that interfered with shipping delayed deliveries. Wheat gained 5.2 percent last week, the most in five weeks.

“The Black Sea is the breadbasket to the world,” said William Adams, a fund manager at Resilience AG in Zurich. “The only thing that impacted their ability to export wheat was the sea froze and they weren’t able to get freight out.”

Wheat for May delivery declined 0.4 percent to $6.7175 a bushel by 1:15 p.m. London time on the Chicago Board of Trade. The grain retreated for a third session in four. Milling wheat for May delivery traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris gained 0.6 percent to 211.75 euros ($279.57) a ton.

Ukraine has exported 13 million tons of grain in the marketing year begun July 1, including 3.26 million tons of wheat and 7.76 million tons of corn, researcher UkrAgroConsult said March 3. It cited Agriculture Ministry figures.

Vessels carrying at least 800,000 tons of Russian grain were trapped by ice in the Sea of Azov, shipbroker Nika Maritime said Feb. 16. That equated to 4 percent of national exports so far in the current season, according to figures from Russia’s Grain Union.

Nonghyup Feed Inc., South Korea’s biggest buyer of feed grains, purchased 126,000 tons of U.S. corn in a tender on March 2 for delivery in July, Lee Tae Woong, a deputy general manager at the company’s foreign trade department, said today.

Cheaper Corn

“Cheaper corn could encourage more buyers to buy,” Tetsu Emori, a commodity fund manager at Astmax Co. Ltd. said by phone from Tokyo today. “It’s quite attractive now against wheat.”

May-delivery corn rose 0.5 percent to $6.5825 a bushel, poised to advance for an eighth session in nine. The price is up 1.8 percent this year.

Soybeans for May delivery were little changed at $13.3275 a bushel in Chicago, threatening a 10-session streak of advances, the longest winning run since July 15. The oilseed has gained 10 percent this year.

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