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Wheat Wipes Out Year’s Gain to Help Ease Food-Inflation Fears

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(Bloomberg) -- Wheat futures wiped out their gains for the year in Chicago, as prospects for weaker demand offset supply worries that were exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Crop markets have become mired in the downturn gripping commodities, as fears mount about slowing economic growth. Wheat harvests are also rolling in across the US and Europe, boosting near-term supplies. The grain is one of the world’s major staples and its price decline could help tame the rampant run-up in food inflation.

Benchmark wheat futures fell as much as 3.3% to $7.685 a bushel in Chicago.

Still, global crop trade remains heavily disrupted by the war, adding to worries about a worsening hunger crisis. Wheat futures had surged more than 70% through early March -- just after Russia started its attack -- and remain historically high. Negotiations this week over unblocking Ukraine’s stalled grain exports through its Black Sea ports made initial progress, while a final deal has yet to be agreed.

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