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334580

Wheat surges, corn firms on Black Sea supply worries

By P.J. Huffstutter

CHICAGO, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures on Monday surged to their highest since June amid growing concerns that an escalation in the fighting between Russia and Ukraine could further disrupt grain shipments from Black Sea ports.

Russia struck Ukrainian cities on Monday in apparent revenge after President Vladimir Putin declared an explosion on the bridge to Crimea to be a terrorist attack.

"For grains today, it's a Putin rally," Don Roose, president of Iowa-based U.S. Commodities. "The fear really escalated in the markets that he's just not going to agree to a grain export corridor going forward, given the military action."

The rally in wheat also gave a boost to corn futures, which also rose on expectations of reduced harvest forecasts in the United States and Europe.

While soybean futures firmed in mid-session trading, as traders jockeyed to adjust their positions ahead of U.S. Agriculture Department's monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates and Crop Production reports on Wednesday.

Traders say the markets are worried that USDA may raise soybean yield or acres in the report, as they have in past years, Roose said. And uncertainty about demand from China, the world's largest buyer of soybeans, also kept the gains in check, traders said.

"Wednesday is going to be a big report," agreed Dan Basse, president of consultancy AgResource in Chicago.

Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat futures were up 7.21% at $9.43-3/4 a bushel at 1649 GMT. Corn was up 2.27% at $6.98-3/4 a bushel, while soybeans rose 0.62% to 13.75-1/2 a bushel. (Additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore, editing by David Evans)

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