A roundup of key agricultural commodity markets for the week of Jan. 30-Feb. 3 by Dow Jones Newswires in London.


By Yusuf Khan




Attention this week is focused on the Black Sea as tensions in the region escalate, adding to worries over grain shipments.

"Escalations to the war in Ukraine, driven by Germany, the U.S. and the U.K. all pledging to supply battle tanks, added some support to wheat markets towards the end of last week," the U.K.-based Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board said in a note.

"While Black Sea exports remain very competitive on the export market, uncertainty around future export prospects have been creeping in," AHDB said, adding that the lack of area being planted in Ukraine due to the war is raising questions as to how long cheap exports can continue.

Elsewhere, markets will be looking to Wednesday and how the Federal Reserve positions itself on interest rates. The dollar would likely move on the back of a decision and so in turn should affect grain prices, according to Peak Trading Research.

Argentina continues to see more rain, helping soybean prospects in the region.

Chicago-wheat futures are up 0.2% to 7.51 a bushel, on Monday while corn is 0.2% lower to $6.82 a bushel.




In terms of soft commodities, cocoa has been seeing weakness amid lower demand. Lower cocoa grinding in the EU, Asia and the U.S. all pointed to weaker demand for chocolate, Rabobank said in a note.

That said, according to Marex's Robin Shaw, sugar prices may rise. "World supply is in deficit now. For it to go into surplus later we need all four major crops - India, Thailand, EU and CS Brazil - to be on target. But in fact two of them, India and the EU, are already looking very shaky, and I hear rumblings about Thailand," he said.

Brazil was likely to have a strong cane crop, but lower rains could stop harvesting, Mr. Shaw said.

Coffee futures in New York were up 0.1% to $1.70 a pound, raw sugar was 1.4% higher at $0.21 a pound while cocoa was 0.15 lower at $2,625 a metric ton.


Write to Yusuf Khan at yusuf.khan@wsj.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 30, 2023 11:26 ET (16:26 GMT)

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