GRAINS-Wheat jumps 3.6% on Ukrainian export concerns, soybeans rebound
* Putin says wants to restrict destinations for Ukraine's exports
* Soybean firm after dropping to lowest since Aug. 18; corn up
* China August soybean imports plunge 25% on year earlier - customs (Recasts with move in wheat prices; adds China's soybean imports)
By Naveen Thukral
SINGAPORE, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures climbed almost 4% on Wednesday to their highest in more than a week, driven higher by comments from Russia on restrictions on Ukrainian grain exports.
Soybeans rose after dropping to their lowest in three weeks on weaker Chinese demand and expectations of a record U.S. production.
"Wheat prices have risen after comments from Russia," said one Singapore-based trader. "Any restriction on Ukrainian grain exports will lift prices further."
The most active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up 3.6% at $8.46-1/4 a bushel at 0828 GMT, having hit $8.48 a bushel, its highest since August 29, earlier in the session.
Soybeans rose 0.1% to $14.00-1/4 a bushel, after dropping to their weakest since Aug. 18 at $13.84 a bushel. Corn rose 0.8% to 6.81-1/4 a bushel.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday warned of a looming global food crisis and said he would discuss amending a landmark grain deal with Ukraine to limit the countries that could receive cargo shipments.
However, a Ukrainian presidential adviser said on Wednesday that Russia had no grounds to review the landmark deal allowing Ukraine to export grain from ports in the Black Sea and that the terms of the wartime agreement were being strictly observed.
Lower soybean demand from China and forecasts of a record U.S. crop are weighing on prices.
China's soybean imports in August were down 24.5% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Wednesday, as high global prices and weak demand curbed appetite for the oilseed.
China, the world's top buyer of soybeans, brought in 7.17 million tonnes in August, versus 9.49 million a year before, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.
Weekly condition ratings for U.S. corn and soybean crops held steady in the latest week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday, bucking analyst estimates for a decline as dry conditions gripped portions of the western Midwest.
In its weekly crop progress report, the USDA rated 54% of the U.S. corn crop and 57% of the soybean in good to excellent condition, unchanged from a week earlier.
Favourable early projections for Brazil's next soybean and corn crops were adding pressure on Chicago futures.
Argentine soybean farmers registered 268,000 tonnes of sales during the last week of August, according to agriculture ministry data released on Tuesday, as the country expected the pace of sales to increase with new incentives taking effect.
Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT soybean, soyoil and soymeal futures contracts on Tuesday, traders said. The funds were net buyers of CBOT corn and wheat. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Bradley Perrett)
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