Wheat futures in Chicago have continued their recent declines and have returned to lows seen before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, helping to ease the worst grain inflation in 40 years. There are signs that wheat continues to be supplied to the market from Russia’s annexed Crimea, despite ongoing fighting and inconclusive talks on the “Black Sea Corridor”.
There are indications that Crimea’s wheat exports are 50 times the normal level in previous years, which is likely to be the continued export of stolen Ukrainian wheat to other countries.
Ukrainian, Russian and Turkish negotiators and U.N. officials hope to bring Ukrainian grains out of Odesa, the main Black Sea hub, through talks in a “quartet” in Istanbul this week.
Chicago wheat futures tumbled 3.7% in intraday trading on Friday (15th), giving up all of the gains this year, and the decline in late trading subsided, still down 1.8% from the previous day, at $7.81 per buck, also close to February The all-time high of $13 is 40 percent lower.
According to forecasts, the United States is expected to harvest this year’s wheat, and Russia’s harvest may rise. “The market is looking for where the demand is,” said Adam Knosalla, grain broker at Frontier Futures.
Corn and soybean futures in Chicago both edged higher on Friday as traders assessed the impact of dry weather on crops.
Europe has been hit by a heatwave this week, with the French weather agency Meteo-France saying temperatures will start to rise from Sunday, with some areas likely to hit 40 degrees Celsius next week. In addition, about a third of U.S. corn fields have been affected by drought, and the Department of Agriculture has warned that the main corn-growing regions in the west are facing a high temperature test. None of this news is good for cornfields entering an important growing season.