Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures rose on Friday, gaining ground on corn contracts as the market tried to entice farmers to boost acreage of the oilseed despite the yellow grain’s rally to its highest in nearly eight years earlier this week.
“The last two weeks all the talk has been about the corn and the dryness and the cold weather,” said Mark Gold, managing partner at Top Third Ag Marketing. “Today it is just the beans saying, ‘Don’t forget about us.'”
Corn futures were mixed, with nearby contracts weakening as funds liquidated long positions and new-crop contracts holding steady on concerns about early planting in the U.S. Midwest.
Wheat dipped on a profit-taking setback after hitting their highest since March 8 overnight.
All three commodities rallied this week, with corn notching its third straight week of gains and fourth in the last five weeks.
Chicago Board of Trade soybeans for May delivery ended up 15 cents at $14.33-1/4 a bushel (all figures US$). The most-active contract hit its highest since April 1.
Strength in soyoil added support to soybeans, which rallied on concerns about tight global vegetable oil supplies. Soyoil has risen for four days in a row and closed near its session high.
CBOT May corn futures were down 4-1/2 cents at $5.85-1/2 a bushel and CBOT May wheat was 1-1/4 cents lower at $6.52-1/2 a bushel.
Traders said that investment funds, which have built up a near-record long stake in corn, were unwinding that position, adding pressure to the market.
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission will release its weekly report on fund positions later on Friday afternoon.
Concerns about falling temperatures in the U.S. Plains limited the selling in wheat futures.
“Colder trends in Plains wheat next week push lows near threshold for damage,” Commodity Weather Group said in a note to clients.
— Reporting for Reuters by Mark Weinraub in Chicago; additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris.