BY ONOME AMUGE
Chicago wheat futures slipped at the close of the week’s trade, but gained 43 percent in three months to record its third consecutive monthly increase in a row as tightening global supplies underpinned by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine kept prices on an upward trend.
The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was down 0.2 percent at $10.83-1/4 a bushel. It however traded almost eight percent higher, ending the month on a bullish note.
Analysts observed that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has curbed wheat exports from the Black Sea region, which is a key supplier in the global market.
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Concerns about adverse weather denting US winter wheat production, amid a strong demand, was also indicated to have added support to the crop’s value.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration has requested that Congress approves $500 million for the farm sector, in a bid to encourage US wheat producers to double-crop their fields, and boost how much the federal government will spend on short-term loans to farmers who grow certain food crops.
Market dealers are optimistic the wheat market will maintain its positive drive as supply constraints and strong demand are poised to remain dominant.
Corn and soybeans also recorded strong figures, with the latter clinching a fifth monthly gain as support stemmed from forecasts of more showers, which will further delay planting in the rain-soaked US Midwest.
Corn was up 8.5 percent in April, while soybeans gained 4.4 percent for the month.
Recent data presented by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), showed signs of strong export demand as private exporters reported the sale of 1.088 million tonnes of corn to China, adding support for the corn market.
The USDA weekly report further showed that corn export sales totalled 1.710 million tonnes, up 35 percent from a week earlier.