Por Karl Plume
CHICAGO, US, Feb 25 (Reuters) – U.S. wheat futures fell on Friday on profit-taking, having hit the highest level since mid-2008 on possible disruption to grain supplies following the Russian invasion. to Ukraine.
* Corn pulled back from an eight-month high hit on Thursday, while soybeans fell from a nine-and-a-half-year high hit in the previous session, as grain traders liquidated long positions ahead of the weekend.
* The market continued to measure the consequences of the conflict between two of the world’s largest exporters of grains and oilseeds.
* “There is a big change in the flow of money before the weekend,” said Karl Setzer, market analyst at Agrivisor. “We went overbought on the charts and booked a big correction. Add the uncertainty about the duration of the export halt and we see this profit taking and removal of weak longs,” he added.
* Missiles struck the Ukrainian capital Kiev on Friday as Russian forces advanced.
* Moscow’s invasion prompted Ukraine to close its ports, while Russia halted commercial shipping in the Sea of Azov, suggesting importers will have to seek alternative sources of supply.
* Russia and Ukraine account for 29% of world exports of wheat, 19% of corn and 80% of sunflower oil.
* Traders are looking for alternative sources of grain as the invasion cuts off Ukrainian supplies. Romanian and French supply is being used to cover some nearby orders, traders said on Friday.
* Soft red winter wheat for May in Chicago fell to $8.5975 a bushel by 1650 GMT, or the 75-cent limit, after earlier hitting a 13-1/2-year high for a more active contract.
* Corn for May was down 33.5 cents at $6.5675 a bushel and soybeans for the same month were down 66.5 cents at $15.8750 a bushel.
(Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris, Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila, and Emily Chow in Beijing; Editing in Spanish by Javier López de Lérida)