U.S. grains: Soybean, wheat futures fall but corn firms

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Chicago/Reuters – Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures fell on Friday, pressured by outlooks for rain and cool weather in key U.S. growing areas that will foster development of the crop during critical periods, traders said.

Wheat also eased, with heavy competition for export business weighing on the markets. Corn firmed on bargain buying.

All three commodities posted losses for the week, with soybeans and wheat notching their biggest weekly declines since the summer of 2016.

“Weather has been favorable across the Midwest and we can expect the weaker tone in the soybean market to continue,” CHS Hedging market analyst Ray Remmert said in a note to clients.

Chicago Board of Trade December corn futures ended up 3-1/4 cents at $3.81 a bushel. CBOT November soybeans were 3-3/4 cents lower at $9.56-3/4 a bushel.

“Weather forecasters’ predictions are largely being realised with more rain and cooler temperatures,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney. “The forecasters also expect more of the same at different times for the next week or so. August, the danger period for soybean crops, is looking benign for now.”

For the week, corn futures dropped 1.7 percent and soybean futures dropped 5.5 percent, which would be the biggest weekly loss since the week ended July 23, 2016.

Market attention is turning towards the USDA’s monthly supply and demand report on Aug. 10 in which it will update its corn yield projection including first data from field surveys.

But the full impact of a hot and dry summer in the U.S. Midwest is unlikely to show up in the government’s next estimate of the U.S. corn crop as it typically makes just small adjustments to its harvest outlook during August.

CBOT September soft red winter wheat futures were down 3 cents at $4.54-3/4 a bushel, capping a week that saw prices fall 5.3 percent.

CBOT wheat has fallen for four straight weeks, shedding 14.9 percent of its value during that time.

U.S. wheat faced stiff competition on the export market with rising expectations for harvest production in Russia, a leading wheat exporter, adding to the global stockpile.

– Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus Trompiz in Paris.

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