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University of Illinois reports:

David L. Stern, Alex Horton, Loveday Morris and Cate Cadell reported on the front page of today's Washington Post that, "Russia has sent nearly all its assembled combat power into Ukraine and on Thursday unleashed some of the most intense fighting since the invasion began, with local officials pleading for help as ground troops seized or encircled strategically important southern cities."

On Thursday, Financial Times writers Neil Hume, Tom Wilson and Emiko Terazono reported that, "With exports from Ukraine and Russia at a virtual halt, wheat soared, with Chicago futures at the highest levels since 2008, when a rise in grain prices triggered protests and riots in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

"Wheat prices have risen 60 per cent since the start of February. Russia and Ukraine account for just under 30 per cent of global wheat exports, sending the grain to countries in the Middle East, north Africa and Asia."

“Commodity prices soar to highest level since 2008 over Russia supply fears,” by Neil Hume, Tom Wilson and Emiko Terazono. The Financial Times (March 3, 2022).

Bloomberg's James Poole reported today that, "[Wheat] prices are heading for a record weekly gain of about 40%, spiking since Russia invaded Ukraine and the U.S. and Europe imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia. The war has closed major ports in Ukraine, and severed logistics and transport links. The fighting also threatens planting of crops in coming months. Trade with Russia has mostly dried up as buyers find it hard to navigate the complexity of sanctions and balk at soaring insurance and freight costs."

"In the meantime, China, the world's biggest importer of corn and soybeans and one of the top buyers of wheat, is moving to secure essential supplies in global markets, helping push prices even higher."

Chinese buyers recently booked about 20 cargoes of American soybeans and about 10 shipments of corn, according to traders who asked not to be identified as they aren't authorized to speak publicly. The move is another example of the country's focus on securing supplies at a time of rising prices. Corn futures are up 17% this week, and heading for the biggest weekly gain since 2008
Poole also pointed out that, "Wheat futures jumped by the exchange limit in Chicago on Friday, rising 6.6% to $12.09 a bushel...[and]...Citigroup Inc. said prices could surge as high as $14 or $14.50 in an 'extreme bull' scenario if Black Sea exports remain locked out. Even rice has been swept up in the turmoil, with Chicago futures near the highest since May 2020."

To view the complete report, click here.

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