U.S. soybean futures rose on Friday on technical buying after declines earlier in the week left the market oversold, traders said.
Wheat also firmed as traders scrambled to cover short positions before the weekend. Chicago Board of Trade corn was mixed, with the front-month contract falling but deferred months pulled higher by the strength in soybeans and wheat.
For the week, CBOT corn was down 1.2 per cent. The front-month corn contract has shed 30.8 per cent during three straight weeks of declines.
Soybeans were up 1 per cent and wheat was up 2.4 per cent for the week.
Concerns that cool temperatures will slow the maturity of both corn and soybeans and leave them vulnerable to some damage if an early frost hits the Midwest this fall added support to the ags market. Soybeans benefited more because supplies of the oilseed were expected to be smaller than corn after harvest.
“We also still have the talk that a lot of the crop is behind normal as far maturity,” said Greg Grow, director of agribusiness at Archer Financial Services.
“A lot of focus will be on when does it start to get cold here at the end of the month or early next month. It is all about the perception that the bean crop may be the most susceptible to an early frost as far as the effect on the balance sheet.”
CBOT August soybeans were up 5-3/4 cents at $13.63-1/2 a bushel at 10:08 a.m. CDT (1500 GMT) while the new-crop November soybean contract gained 12-1/2 cents to $12.05 a bushel.
Commodity brokerage INTL FCStone pegged 2013 U.S. soybean production at 3.309 billion bushels, based on an average yield of 43.0 bushels per acre. Those forecasts were lower than the U.S. Agriculture Department’s outlook for a soy crop of 3.420 billion bushels on a yield of 44.5 bushels per acre.
CBOT September corn was 2-1/4 cents lower at $4.85-1/4 a bushel, still hovering near the nearly three-year low it hit on Thursday. New-crop December corn was up 2-1/4 cents at $4.69-1/4 a bushel.
Two private forecasters, FCStone and Lanworth, this week put the 2013 U.S. corn crop above the current outlook of the U.S. government.
Some operators said the consolidation showed the market could bottom out soon.
“(Corn) wouldn’t have much more downside, maybe 20 to 30 cents more. It is benign (weather) right now but there is still some time to go before the harvest,” said Ole Houe, an analyst at Sydney-based brokerage IKON Commodities.
CBOT September soft red winter wheat was 9 cents higher at $6.67 a bushel.
Export demand was providing support for wheat markets and helping offset spillover pressure from corn.
Japan bought nearly 90,000 tonnes of U.S. western white wheat in a tender on Thursday, marking the first purchase of the variety by its top buyer after the discovery of a genetically modified version of the grain in Oregon.