China corn futures touch new contract high as Ukraine export hope shatters

Corn futures in China rose sharply on Thursday following the latest reports of military conflict between Russia and Ukraine that could potentially cut off corn exports from the Black Sea region.

The main corn futures contract on Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) for May 2022 delivery touched a new contract high of 2,863 yuan/ton (US$454/ton) after jumping 2% intraday.

Other agricultural futures in China also soared with DCE soymeal futures up 3-6% across the curve, soyoil futures curve up 4-5% and hog futures also bounced 1-2% higher.

Futures rallied in China despite a dive across global equities and precious metal markets.

International crude oil prices spiked above US$100 per barrel as concerns of supply disruption mounted.

China still has around 2 million tons of Ukrainian corn in lineup for exports in February, but traders fear that those volume could be cancelled due to potential disruptions in the Black Sea.

China imported more than 8.2 million tons of Ukrainian corn in 2021, accounting for over 29% of total Chinese corn imports that year.

Dry bulk ships are said to be avoiding Black Sea waters following Russian military operations in Ukraine, and freight futures also plunged at opening hours in London.