Wheat Rises on Global Supply Worries as Russia Announces Possible Export Ban

After Russia, the world’s largest wheat producer, said it will suspend exports, stoking concerns about global supplies, U.S. wheat futures rose nearly 1% on Monday, Reuters reported.

By 0340 GMT, the most-active wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade rose 0.8% to $5.38-1/4 a bushel, having closed 0.6% higher on Friday.

Analysts attributed the rise to concerns about global supplies after Russia said on Friday it could shortly suspend exports if a quota it set earlier was reached ahead of schedule. Given the current pace, exports will be suspended in mid-May, the official said.

“There is plenty of uncertainty about global wheat supplies after Russia said it shut-off shipments and that is supporting prices,” said one Melbourne-based grains trader. He declined to be named as he is not authorized to talk to the media.

Russia’s deputy agriculture minister Oksana Lut said on Friday the country will suspend exports until July 1 once its export quota is exhausted, which is expected to happen in mid-May.

Russia last fully banned wheat exports in 2010 when drought hit its harvest, rocking global markets. Turkey, Egypt and Bangladesh are the largest buyers of Russian wheat.

Ukraine, one of the world’s top grain exporters, is ready to ban wheat exports if sales exceed limits agreed with traders, the deputy economy minister in charge of agriculture told Reuters last week.

But Ukrainian wheat exports jumped nearly 50% in the week of April 11-17 despite a government warning that it could ban shipments if export rates are too high.

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