Content ID

326893

GRAINS-Corn futures hit decade-high above $8/bushel on global supply concerns

* Cold weather slows U.S. corn plantings - traders

* USDA says corn crop is 4% planted

* Ukraine war disrupts Black Sea grain exports (Adds closing prices, USDA crop-progress data)

By Tom Polansek

CHICAGO, April 18 (Reuters) - Chicago Board of Trade corn futures topped $8 a bushel and reached their highest price in nearly a decade on Monday on concerns over unfavorable U.S. weather slowing plantings and the Ukraine war disrupting grain exports.

Traders worry chilly weather hampering plantings this spring could potentially contribute to lower yields come harvest time in the autumn. Forecasts show "only brief open windows for Midwest planting" through month's end, said Rich Feltes, head of market insights for broker RJ O'Brien.

Planting was 4% complete as of Sunday, below the five-year average of 6%, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report issued after CBOT grain markets closed on Monday. Analysts surveyed by Reuters expected planting to be 5% complete.

"It appears some corn will get planted before the end of April, but the war in Ukraine rages on," said Dennis Smith, commodity broker for Archer Financial Services in Chicago.

Most-active corn futures climbed to $8.10 a bushel at the CBOT, the highest price since September 2012. The contract ultimately settled up 23-1/4 cents at $8.07 a bushel.

CBOT soybeans gained 28 cents to end at $16.93-1/4 a bushel, while soyoil set a contract high.

CBOT wheat jumped 24-1/4 cents to $11.28-3/4 a bushel and hit its highest price since March 22. Traders worried about unfavorably dry weather hurting hard red winter wheat crops in the southern U.S. Plains.

U.S. grain production is particularly important this year because Russia's invasion of Ukraine has thrown doubt on Ukrainian crop plantings and stalled agricultural exports from the Black Sea region, a major supplier of wheat and corn.

Around 1.25 million tonnes of grains and oilseeds are on commercial vessels blocked in Ukrainian seaports, and part of the cargo may deteriorate in the near future, Ukraine's farm minister was quoted as saying on Friday. (Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago. Additional reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Marguerita Choy)

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