U.S. grains: Wheat, soybean futures fall with export prospects

Corn edges up ahead of Memorial Day

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. wheat futures fell after three straight days of gains on Friday as a firmer dollar disadvantaged the crop in the export market and a forecast for rain promised much-needed relief to dry soils in the U.S. Plains, traders said.

Soybean markets also sagged on concerns about export demand, with sales to China in focus after Beijing announced new national security legislation for Hong Kong after last year’s pro-democracy unrest. U.S. President Donald Trump warned that Washington would react “very strongly” against attempts to further restrict the former British colony.

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Traders also noted some position-squaring ahead of the U.S. Memorial Day holiday. Grain markets will be closed on Monday.

CBOT July soybeans ended down 1-3/4 cents at $8.33-1/4 a bushel and Chicago Board of Trade July wheat futures sagged 7-1/4 cents to $5.08-3/4 a bushel (all figures US$).

Wheat drew support midweek from concerns that dry weather in Russia would lower global production, but reversed Friday as the stronger U.S. currency weighed on export prospects.

“The U.S. dollar is starting to firm up again. We’re seeing wheat backpedal from that,” said Karl Setzer, commodity risk analyst with AgriVisor.

The corn market was slightly higher, with CBOT July corn edging up 1/4 cent to $3.18 a bushel after hitting its lowest in more than a week.

But forecasts for good weather for crop development in the U.S. Midwest limited corn’s strength.

“The weather models shift most of the rains out of the wet areas of the Midwest into the drier areas the next five days,” Bevan Everett, a risk management consultant at INTL FCStone, said in a note to clients.

— Reporting for Reuters by Christopher Walljasper; additional reporting by Mark Weinraub in Chicago, Nigel Hunt in London and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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