U.S. grains: Wheat posts weekly dip as supply worries ease

Corn, soy futures also lower

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. wheat futures fell more than one per cent on Friday and recorded a weekly loss as expectations for bumper wheat harvests in Australia and Canada tempered fears of tightening global supplies.

Corn and soybean futures declined on forecasts for beneficial rains in northern and central Brazil, although worries about dry outlooks for Argentina and far southern Brazil underpinned both markets.

Chicago Board of Trade March wheat settled down nine cents at $5.75-1/2 per bushel (all figures US$). CBOT March corn ended down six cents at $4.20-1/2 a bushel and January soybeans fell 5-1/4 cents to settle at $11.63 a bushel.

Wheat futures sagged Friday as traders continued to digest rising crop estimates for Canada and Australia, two key global wheat producers.

Strong export competition from the Black Sea region, particularly Russia, the world’s top wheat exporter, also hung over the market, along with improving ratings for the U.S. winter wheat crop.

“Everything kind of stacked up against the wheat this week,” said Dan Cekander, president of DC Analysis.

For the week, CBOT March wheat fell 30-1/2 cents per bushel or five per cent, its biggest drop in five weeks. March corn fell 3.1 per cent and January soybeans dipped 2.4 per cent, after four-week advances for both commodities.

Corn futures on Friday eased on long liquidation and generally improving South American weather.

A slowing pace of sales to China added to bearish sentiment. Rumours have swirled in recent weeks of fresh Chinese export demand for U.S. corn, but the only recent corn sales confirmed through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s daily reporting system have been to Mexico or unknown destinations.

Soybean futures ticked lower on improving Brazilian crop prospects. Dry conditions in Brazil have stoked fears that a disappointing soybean harvest would strain international supplies after China already swept up much of the new U.S. harvest.

However, CBOT soyoil futures climbed Friday for a second session, as Malaysian palm oil futures surged on expectations of tightening palm oil stocks.

— Julie Ingwersen is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Sydney.

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