Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures closed higher on Monday as geopolitical tension in the Black Sea region and confirmation of US wheat sales to Egypt sparked a round of short-covering, traders said. CBOT December soft red winter wheat settled up 7-3/4 cents at $5.07-1/2 per bushel. K.C. December hard red winter wheat ended up 3-1/4 cents at $4.64-1/2 a bushel and MGEX December spring wheat rose 2-3/4 cents at $5.77.
The US Department of Agriculture confirmed that private exporters sold 120,000 tonnes of US soft red winter wheat to Egypt for delivery in the 2018/19 marketing year.
Escalating tension between Russia and Ukraine could slow grain exports from the Black Sea region, analysts said. Russia ignored Western calls to release three Ukrainian naval ships it had fired on and captured near Crimea over the weekend.
The USDA reported export inspections of US wheat in the latest week at 252,489 tonnes, below a range of trade expectations for 350,000 to 600,000 tonnes.
Ahead of the USDA's weekly crop progress report later on Monday, analysts on average expected the government to rate 56 percent of the US winter wheat crop in good to excellent condition, unchanged from a week earlier.