Chicago | Reuters — U.S. wheat futures surged to their highest prices in nearly six years on Friday as dry weather in key growing regions around the world fueled supply concerns.
Corn futures ended lower, after touching a 14-month high on prospects for hefty sales to China, and soybeans also slumped.
Traders are keeping a close eye on wheat fields as dryness threatens production in Argentina, the U.S. Plains and the Black Sea region.
Buying by commodity funds helped support gains in the market, analysts said, with the most-active Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) contract rising 15 per cent over the past month.
“The wheat market has been incredibly resilient this week,” said Matt Wiegand, commodity broker for FuturesOne. “Every time it’s tried to dip, it’s moved higher.”
The most-active December wheat futures contract finished seven cents higher at $6.25-1/4 a bushel at the CBOT (all figures US$). The contract earlier reached $6.30-3/4, its highest since December 2014.
The December contract is trading at a premium to the March 2021 contract, which ended up four cents at $6.23-1/2 a bushel.
Corn futures closed down 1-3/4 cents at $4.02 per bushel, after reaching $4.09, its highest since August 2019. Soybean futures fell 12-1/4 cents to $10.50 a bushel, after rising last week to its highest price since March 2018.
Concerns about dry weather in Brazil, the world’s top soybean exporter, have recently supported soy futures. However, more consistent rains are likely to benefit crops in northern Brazil, according to Commodity Weather Group.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in its daily reporting system for export sales, said shippers struck deals to sell a total of 391,150 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to unknown destinations. Exporters separately sold 128,000 tonnes of U.S. corn to Mexico.
In another report, USDA said weekly U.S. wheat export sales totaled 599,700 for 2020-21 and 2021-22 shipment. Sales were near the high end of analysts’ estimates and the most in seven weeks.
— Reporting for Reuters by Tom Polansek in Chicago, Colin Packham in Sydney and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris.