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Wheat jumps as Russia questions Ukraine export deal

By Gus Trompiz and Naveen Thukral PARIS/SINGAPORE, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures rose around 4% on Wednesday to their highest in nearly two months as criticism by Russia of a war-time export deal for Ukrainian grain revived concerns about supply disruption.

U.S. soybeans hit a near three-week low as expectations of an upturn in Argentine exports, uncertainty over Chinese demand and favourable U.S. harvest prospects anchored the market.

Corn edged up, drawing support from wheat and a mixed outlook for the U.S. crop. The most active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up 3.9% at $8.49 a bushel by 1050 GMT. It earlier reached its highest since July 12 at $8.53-3/4. In Europe,

December wheat on Euronext was up 3.1% at 328.75 euros ($325.43) a tonne.

President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday Russia and the developing world had been "cheated" by a UN-brokered Ukrainian grain export deal, vowing to look to revise its terms to limit the countries that can receive shipments. Putin's comments, which reinforced criticism of the grain corridor agreement voiced by his foreign minister on Tuesday, put the focus back on risks to Black Sea supplies as Moscow's six-month-old invasion of Ukraine continues.

"Wheat prices have risen after comments from Russia," said one Singapore-based trader. "Any restriction on Ukrainian grain exports will lift prices further." Wheat futures had been curbed in recent weeks by an increasing flow of Ukrainian shipments through the Black Sea corridor, along with falling prices for Ukrainian and Russian supplies. However, Moscow's comments underscored the precarious situation in the Black Sea region as Russia's six-month-old invasion of Ukraine continues and Western sanctions against Moscow remain in place.

"The market is pricing worst-case scenarios like the end of the grain corridor," a European trader said.

CBOT soybeans were down 0.1% at $13.96-3/4 a bushel, after dropping to their weakest since Aug. 18 at $13.84. Corn added 0.8% to 6.81-1/2 a bushel, after earlier touching a one-week top. China's soybean imports in August were down 24.5% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Wednesday. 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. 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.

Prices at 1050 GMT Last Change Pct End Ytd Pct Move 2021 Move CBOT wheat 849.00 32.00 3.92 770.75 10.15 CBOT corn 681.50 5.50 0.81 593.25 14.88 CBOT soy 1396.75 -2.00 -0.14 1339.25 4.29 Paris wheat 320.75 6.50 2.07 276.75 15.90 Paris maize 323.00 8.00 2.54 226.00 42.92 Paris rape 613.00 7.50 1.24 754.00 -18.70 WTI crude oil 87.37 0.49 0.56 75.21 16.17 Euro/dlr 0.99 0.00 -0.03 1.1368 -12.92 Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne ($1 = 1.0102 euros) (Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Rashmi Aich, Bradley Perrett and Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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