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Ukraine War Swings U.S. Wheat Prices High and Low

Traders try to determine how long Russia's invasion will keep grain shipped from Black Sea region from global buyers

Russian's invasion of Ukraine has fueled a sharp divide between nearby U.S. wheat futures and deferred contracts on Wednesday as some traders looked beyond the near-term supply shock from halted exports.

According to a report at Reuters, volatility in the market shook traders working to determine how long Russia’s invasion will keep grain shipped from the Black Sea region from global buyers.

Most-active May wheat climbed by an expanded daily 75-cent limit to a 14-year high at the Chicago Board of Trade on concerns about tightening supplies. In an unusual move, December and March 2023 wheat temporarily dropped by the limit.

Trading volume in CBOT wheat futures was estimated by the exchange at 380,891 contracts, which would top the single-day record of 351,063, set June 26, 2015, if confirmed in final figures on Thursday.

The slump in deferred contracts reflected traders’ bets that supply disruptions from port closures in the Black Sea region will only keep supplies off the market temporarily, said Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist for broker StoneX.

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