CBOT wheat hits 14-year peak on Ukraine crisis in volatile trading



* Chicago wheat hits highest since March 2008

* Deferred CBOT wheat drops by daily limit

* Soyoil sets record high before retreating

By Tom Polansek

CHICAGO, March 2 (Reuters) - Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures rose by their daily limit to a 14-year high on Wednesday as the war in Ukraine raised major concerns about grain supplies that will be available from the Black Sea region.

Corn futures reached their highest price since December 2012, when the market set an all-time record, before pulling back. Soybean oil retreated after touching a record high.

The markets were volatile as traders assessed how long the Russia-Ukraine conflict would last and whether it would hamper spring crop plantings.

Russia and Ukraine account for about 29% of global wheat exports, 19% of corn exports and 80% of exports of sunflower oil, which competes with soyoil.

"The battle between Russia and the Ukraine has prompted the closing off of the Black Sea ports and they will likely be closed for at least 60 to 90 days," said Tomm Pfitzenmaier, an analyst for Summit Commodity Brokerage in Iowa.

"That forces the market to pencil in no exports out of that region until spring and has the trade uncertain about what production in Ukraine will look like in 2022."

The most-active wheat contract Wv1 on the Chicago Board of Trade ended up by the expanded 75-cent limit at $10.59 a bushel, its highest level since March 2008. The market set an all-time high of $12.14-1/2 in February 2008.

Deferred wheat futures temporarily tumbled by the daily limit amid spread trading and some hopes that the crisis may only keep wheat off the global market in the short term, analysts said.

"Global buyers of grains have been increasingly turning to the U.S., Europe or South America to secure supplies in the immediate term," ING said in a note.

The most active CBOT corn contract Cv1 peaked at $7.47-3/4, the highest level since December 2012, before closing 3/4-cent lower at $7.25 a bushel.

CBOT soybeans Sv1 ended down 27 cents at $16.63 a bushel. Soyoil BOv1 set a high of 77.02 cents per lb before closing 0.34 cent lower at 75.87.
Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago. Additional reporting by Nigel Hunt in London and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Kirsten Donovan, Richard Chang and Grant McCool

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