Chicago | Reuters — Chicago wheat futures firmed on Friday, ending near a two-week high as the market assessed mixed global production prospects and brisk import demand.
Corn eased as supply pressure from the ongoing U.S. harvest countered background support from tight supplies, while soybeans inched higher after trading both sides of even.
The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) added six cents, to $7.23-3/4 a bushel, after earlier reaching $7.25-3/4, its highest since Sept. 7.
For the week, wheat added 2.12 per cent.
CBOT soybeans ended 3/4 cent higher at $12.85 a bushel, adding just one cent for the week, while corn eased 2-1/2 cents lower at $5.26-3/4 a bushel, ending the week down 1/2 cent.
A run of tenders by importers, harvest setbacks in the Northern Hemisphere and rumours about further Russian export restrictions all supported wheat futures this week, according to traders.
Prospects for a large wheat harvest in Australia have tempered global supply concerns, with China making big advance purchases of the crop.
“World buyers are stepping up to the plate at these prices,” said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities. “Demand is underneath the market.”
Corn and soybeans bounced off of recent lows near their 200-day moving averages, as U.S. harvest pressure is eased by producers storing recently harvested crops, hoping for stronger prices.
“I don’t think the farmer’s going to be that aggressive to sell,” said Joe Davis, director of commodity sales at Futures International. “I think the farmer is fine to wait for his or her price to come to them.”
Traders are focused on crop size and quality as the U.S. corn and soybean harvests are expected to ramp up across the U.S. Midwest.
“This is one of our big harvesting weekends,” said Roose. “That’s kind of an anchor on the market.”
— Reporting for Reuters by Christopher Walljasper; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.