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Wheat set for biggest weekly gain in 2 months on Russian crop woes, 22.05.20

SINGAPORE — Chicago wheat edged lower for the first time in four sessions on Friday but was poised for its biggest weekly gain in two months due to concerns over lower output in Russia, the world’s top exporter.

Soybeans were set for a second week of losses on worries about Chinese demand.

“Russian production is expected to be lower which changes the world balance sheet a little bit, but there is no shortage of wheat globally,” said one Singapore-based trader.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade is up nearly 3% this week, the biggest weekly gain since late-March. The market was down 0.5% at $5.13-1/4 a bushel by 0317 GMT.

Soybeans have lost 0.5% for the week, while corn is down 0.7% this week.

Wheat is drawing support amid concerns that adverse weather in Russia will lower global production.

Russia’s IKAR agriculture consultancy said on Thursday it had cut its forecast for Russia’s 2020 wheat crop to 76.2 million tonnes from 77.2 million tonnes.

In addition, there are some worries over adverse weather in Europe and the United States.

Soybeans are facing pressure from U.S.-China tensions.

A weekly U.S. Agriculture Department report published on Thursday showed export sales of soybeans rose to a bigger-than-expected 1.669 million tonnes for the week.

The report showed sales of 1.199 million tonnes to China in the week ended May 14, but no fresh deals have been reported since then.

U.S.-China tensions remain elevated. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took fresh aim at China over the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, calling the $2 billion Beijing has pledged to fight the pandemic “paltry.”

Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT soybean, corn, soymeal and soyoil contracts on Thursday. They were net buyers of wheat, traders said.

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