U.S. grains: Weather forecast weighs on soybeans

(Scott Bauer photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures fell on Friday as the weather outlook for the Midwest bolstered expectations of a huge harvest in the fall, traders said.

Chicago Board of Trade corn and wheat futures firmed, recovering from early weakness on short-covering and technical buying.

The forecast for key growing areas of the U.S. Midwest showed moderate temperatures and some rain, beneficial for the final stages of development for the maturing soybean crop.

The weather view outweighed continued signs of strong overseas demand for U.S. soybeans. The U.S. Agriculture Department on Friday morning said private exporters reported the sale of another 261,000 tonnes of soybeans to unknown destinations for delivery in the 2016-17 crop year.

“(A) lack of weather threats to the crop hinders additional buying interest,” CHS Hedging said in a note to clients.

CBOT November soybean futures settled down 10 cents at $10.01 a bushel (all figures US$).

“Production looks great and that is the problem,” said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank. “Long-term story is of ample supplies.”

Technical support for soybeans was noted near Thursday’s low of $9.96-3/4 a bushel.

For the week, CBOT soybean futures rose 2.3 per cent, their third gain of the last four weeks.

CBOT December corn futures ended up 1-3/4 cents at $3.43-3/4 a bushel. Corn rose 3.3 per cent this week and was on track for its sixth straight higher close. Corn futures posted intraday losses before recovering to close in positive territory every day during the streak.

CBOT September wheat futures were flat at $4.27 a bushel while deferred contracts posted modest gains. Wheat prices, which rose one per cent for the week, hit their highest since July 25 during Friday’s trading session.

Huge global supplies of wheat and USDA’s forecast for a record large U.S. corn harvest limited the gains in grains.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus Trompiz in Paris.

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