U.S. grains: Wheat, corn, soybeans fall on good crop weather

(Lisa Guenther photo)

Chicago | Reuters –– Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures fell on Friday, pressured by improving crop conditions in the U.S. Plains and Midwest while corn and soybeans dropped on beneficial crop weather in South America, traders said.

The burgeoning harvest prospects threatened to add to the already ample global stockpiles of all three commodities.

The turn to wetter weather in South America removed concerns about dry soils that farmers encountered early in the planting process.

“Most of Mato Grosso in the key centre-west region of Brazil should continue to see rather scattered rains over the next two weeks, with heavier totals in Argentina and southern Brazil,” said Bryce Knorr, senior editor at Farm Futures. “So far that is keeping weather concerns muted.”

Chicago Board of Trade soybeans for January delivery settled down 2-1/2 cents at $8.57-1/2 a bushel (all figures US$). CBOT December corn was one cent lower at $3.63-1/4 a bushel and CBOT December wheat was down 2-1/4 cents at $4.88-1/2 a bushel.

For the week, soybeans shed 0.2 per cent, their fifth straight week of declines. Wheat futures dropped 1.7 per cent this week while corn gained 1.5 per cent.

All three commodities had traded higher during Friday’s session but the traders quickly locked in profits from those mild gains ahead of the weekend as the global balance sheet kept a bearish tone on the markets.

“As soon as you start talking stocks, you see there is too much globally so that prevents the market from rising far,” Sebastien Poncelet of consultancy Agritel said.

Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Colin Packham in Sydney and Gus Trompiz in Paris.

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