Reuters — U.S. corn futures inched higher on bargain buying Friday but posted a fifth consecutive weekly loss as expectations of record yields in this autumn’s harvest continued to hang over the market, traders said.
Wheat rose on short-covering buying as the market consolidated above contract lows set this week, while soybeans ended mixed.
At the Chicago Board of Trade, September corn settled up 1-1/2 cents at $3.63 per bushel, after setting a contract low a day earlier at $3.56-1/2.
September wheat ended up 9-1/4 cents at $5.38 a bushel. August soybeans ended up 4-3/4 cents at $12.12-1/4 a bushel, with new-crop November down 1-1/4 cents at $10.83-1/2.
Corn prices fell to a four-year low this week on prospects for a bumper harvest. Growing weather has been optimal during the corn crop’s crucial pollination phase this month.
A Reuters survey of 20 analysts pegged the U.S. corn yield at 170.5 bushels per acre, above the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s forecast of 165.3 and the previous record yield of
164.7 from 2009.
The poll pegged the U.S. soybean yield at 45.5 bushels per acre, up from USDA’s forecast of 45.2 and the previous record of 44 set in 2009.
Corn sagged in early moves after storms overnight brought welcome moisture to the western Midwest.
“They got some rains in areas that were amongst the driest there, in southwestern Minnesota. They could use some rain, and they got it,” said Jim Gerlach, president of A/C Trading in Fowler, Indiana.
The rains also weighed on new-crop soybean futures, but front-month August rose on tight supplies of old-crop U.S. soybeans and relatively firm cash markets ahead of the contract’s delivery period, which starts next week.
The market is also continuing to digest sales of old-crop U.S. soybeans announced in the last week, analysts said. Wheat advanced on short-covering after recent lows and ended the week up 1.1 percent.
European traders continued to monitor quality indications from the harvest after heavy rain earlier in July raised the risk of damage to mature crops.
Julie Ingversen writes for Reuters news service in Chicago