Wheat falls to pre-war lows while food shipments in Crimea surge


Chicago wheat futures extended losses back to their lowest level since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Friday in February, capping its worst week in a decade with rising shipments of agricultural goods in Crimea, underscoring that grain is still growing despite the war still reached the world markets.

Food shipments from Russian-occupied Crimea have been 50 times normal for this time of year, likely indicating stolen supplies are being shipped from Ukraine to importing countries. The news comes as negotiators sought a solution to restart Ukrainian supplies to Black Sea ports.

Futures plummeted as much as 3.7%, briefly erasing all gains from 2022 before paring losses to settle 1.8% lower at $7.81 a bushel. That’s a far cry from the record of nearly $13 set in the weeks following the invasion and marks the biggest single-week drop since March 2011.

Falling wheat prices raise hopes of relief from the worst food inflation in four decades, with estimates rising for Russia’s grain harvest and US farmers’ harvests.

“We took the war bounty off the market and now we have to figure out what wheat is worth,” Adam Knosalla, a grain broker at Frontier Futures in Minneapolis, said by phone. “The market is looking for demand.”

Elsewhere, corn and soybean futures each posted small gains as traders anticipated dry weather that could damage crops.

The heat in France will intensify from Sunday and temperatures could top 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in some areas next week, according to Meteo France. In the US, about a third of the corn-growing region is affected by drought, and heat waves are expected in the western growing region, according to a forecast by the US Department of Agriculture.

This poses a particular risk for corn fields that are entering their important phase of development. Global shipments have already been impacted by the war in Ukraine, which is restricting exports from one of the world’s largest shippers.

Bloomberg Wheat falls to pre-war lows while food shipments in Crimea surge

Fry Electronics Team

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