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Wheat Falls on Bets Sanctions Won’t Delay Russia Exports

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Wheat futures fell for the first time in a week on speculation that U.S. sanctions against Russia won't impede Black Sea grain exports. Corn and soybeans gained.

The Obama administration announced new restrictions on seven officials and 17 companies linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin's inner circle involved in banking, energy and infrastructure. Futures jumped 4.8 percent in the past four sessions on escalating tensions between Russia, the fifth-biggest wheat exporter, and Ukraine, the sixth-largest.

"The sanctions announced today were not a punitive as people feared," Dan Anderson, a grain broker at ED&F Man Capital Markets Ltd. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. "We ran up last week on fears of sanctions, and today, we are backing off on profit-taking."

Wheat futures for delivery in July fell 0.7 percent to $7.0325 a bushel at 11:24 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price reached $7.17, the highest for a most-active contract since April 16, after rains missed the driest areas of the U.S. Great Plains.

Russia and Ukraine will account for 17 percent of global wheat exports in the 2013-14 season, data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show. The U.S. is the top exporter.

Corn and soybeans climbed on speculation that cold, wet weather early this week will delay planting in the U.S., the biggest producer of the crops.

Storms will bring more than 2 inches (5.1 centimeters) of rain to the northern Midwest, including parts of Iowa and Wisconsin, and below-normal temperatures by midweek may slow fieldwork, QT Weather in Chicago said.

Corn futures for July delivery advanced 0.2 percent to $5.1375 a bushel. Earlier, the price reached $5.185, the highest since April 9. The grain headed for the fourth monthly increase, the longest rally since October 2010.

Soybean futures for July delivery rose less than 0.1 percent to $14.945 a bushel.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Wilson in Chicago at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Millie Munshi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Patrick McKiernan