U.S. grains: Soy falls as harvest expectations rise; wheat, corn firm

U.S. grains: Soy falls as harvest expectations rise; wheat, corn firm

Chicago / Reuters – U.S. soybean futures fell 2.3 per cent to a three-month low on Friday as the weather forecast for August reinforced expectations that the crop developing in the U.S. Midwest would blossom into a bumper harvest.

Wheat and corn futures firmed, recovering from early weakness, as investment funds unwound bearish bets ahead of the weekend. Support for corn was noted after prices touched their lowest since October 2014, while wheat turned around when it neared 10-year lows hit earlier this month.

The latest weather outlook called for good conditions during August, the key period for growth for the soybean crop.

“Funds continue to take weather risk out of the market,” Bryce Knorr, senior grain market analyst at Farm Futures, said in a note. “Forecasts into August remain cooler and wetter, with the new 30-day forecast also showing little threat to what looks like a good crop so far.”

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) November soybean futures settled down 24-1/4 cents at $9.88-1/4 a bushel. CBOT December corn rose 1 cent to close at $3.41-1/4 a bushel.

Corn futures notched their fifth straight week of losses, shedding 4.2 per cent during the last five trading days. Corn had risen for six weeks in a row before the current streak of losses.

Traders remained bearish on longer-term prospects for the corn market despite the higher close on Friday, as much of the crop was expected to emerge unscathed from the current heat wave in the Midwest.

“For corn, (adverse) weather concerns for the U.S. crop have failed to materialise. A lot of speculative length has been unwound,” said Brett Cooper, senior manager for markets at FCStone Australia.

Soybeans fell 6.5 per cent this week, their fourth loss in the last five weeks.

CBOT September soft red winter wheat rose 7-1/2 cents to $4.25-1/4 a bushel. Wheat rose 0.2 per cent this week.

Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris; Editing by David Evans and Jeffrey Hodgson

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