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GRAINS-U.S. wheat rallies on Ukraine export worries; soy firm, corn weak

(Recasts, updates with U.S. trading, adds new analyst quote; pvs HAMBURG)

By Mark Weinraub

CHICAGO, Oct 17 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures rose on Monday after posting sharp declines in three of the past four sessions as intense fighting between Ukraine and Russia renewed concerns about extension of the safe shipping channel for Ukraine grain exports.

Russia on Monday told a top United Nations representative that the extension of a Black Sea grain deal was dependent on the West easing restrictions on Russia's own agricultural and fertilizer exports.

"Wheat is rising today largely on continued geopolitical risks and concern that the safe shipping channel for Ukraine's grain exports may not be extended," said Matt Ammermann, StoneX commodity risk manager. "Fighting in Ukraine has intensified and there is a lack of news about progress in talks to prolong the shipping channel which is creating worry."

Russian drones hit tanks with sunflower oil at a terminal in the Ukrainian port city of Mykolaiv on Sunday.

Soybean futures also were higher, with bullish export news supporting prices. But gains were kept in check by concerns that top buyer China will soon look to other suppliers.

"It is still expected that Chinese demand will be

completed by mid to late November and that Chinese demand after that will shift to South America," Tomm Pfitzenmaier, analyst for Summit Commodity Brokerage, said in a research note.

Corn futures eased on pressure from the ongoing harvest in the U.S. Midwest.

At 11:01 a.m. CDT (1601 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade December soft red winter wheat futures were up 6-3/4 cents at $8.66-1/2 a bushel.

CBOT November soybean futures were 9 cents higher at $13.92-3/4 a bushel and CBOT December corn was down 5 cents at $6.84-3/4 a bushel.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Monday morning that

weekly export inspections of soybeans

totaled 1.882 million bushels, nearly double the prior week's total and

above market expectations


Wheat export inspections came in at a lower-than-forecast 231,842 tonnes and corn export inspections were 448,423, in line with analysts' estimates. (Additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Andrea Ricci)

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