(Bloomberg) -- Wheat posted a fifth straight week of losses as prospects brighten for getting global grain shipments out of the war-stressed Black Sea.
The US Department of Agriculture raised its outlook for world wheat trade in part on higher exports from Ukraine and Russia, the agency said Friday in its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.
Last month’s extension of a Russia-Ukraine agreement allowing for safe passage of exports from the Black Sea has helped cool off recent price gains, potentially easing a scourge of global food inflation. A bumper wheat crop in Australia is also sending prices lower.
Despite earlier fears that flooding in parts of Australia would hurt grain quality, reports indicate its not “the nightmare it looked like it could be just last month,” Frontier Futures broker Joe Nussmeier said.
Further pressuring wheat prices is a forecast for beneficial rains in big US producing regions like Kansas, said Rich Nelson, chief strategist at commodity brokerage Allendale Inc. The most-active wheat contract contract in Chicago closed 1.6% lower at $7.3425 a bushel on Friday. Corn gained slightly while soybeans fell.
In other farm products, soybean meal futures rose 11% for the week, the biggest weekly gain since October 2014. Meanwhile, soybean oil fell for a second consecutive week, dropping 7.6%.
The price swings mark a reversal of fortune for the commodities derived from crushing whole soybeans. Soy oil, a key ingredient in making renewable diesel, has been falling after the Biden administration last week proposed new biofuel-blending rules below the industry’s expectations.
Regulatory data Friday reflected the shift, with money managers boosting net bullish bets in soymeal and cutting bets in soyoil. There was also a steep drop in corn net longs to the lowest in more than two years.
“Meal continues to defy gravity and put pressure on traders that have stubbornly held onto their long oil short meal positions,” said Charlie Sernatinger, global head of grain futures at ED&F Man Capital Markets Inc. in Chicago.
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- US Fertilizer Imports From Russia Are Climbing as Prices Drop
- Winter Fertilizer Price Reset Approaches as Americas Demand Ebbs
- US Vegetable Prices Soar Nearly 40% as Water Cuts Crush Supply
- AMLO: US Yellow Corn Imports for Animal Feed to Continue 2 Years
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