GRAINS: U.S. soy drops on rain forecasts; wheat rises on export hopes

Reuters — U.S. soybean futures fell on Friday as forecasts for rain in the U.S. Midwest added to expectations the crop should pass through key stages of development without stress, traders said.

“Weather forecasts continue to trend more and more beneficial as we enter the key soy development month,” said Matt Zeller, director of market information at INTL FCStone said in a note to clients.

Corn futures also fell, hitting their lowest in more than four years late in the trading day, on growing expectations for record U.S. yields.

U.S. wheat futures rose, their third straight day of gains, on hopes U.S. supplies will gain more traction on the export market owing to concerns about the quality of European crops. High-protein K.C. hard red winter wheat, prized by exporters, led the gains with a 1.1 per cent rally.

Worries about the wheat harvest in Europe producing supplies that are not suitable for export weighed on Euronext futures but propped up the U.S. wheat contracts, which have treaded water near four-year lows hit earlier this month.

“Better hopes for (U.S.) exports are finally emerging, though the global market still looks like it has plenty of cheap wheat,” said Bryce Knorr, senior editor at Farm Futures Magazine.

The competitiveness of Russian wheat, which made a clean sweep of sales in the Egyptian tender, could curb a rebound in U.S. prices. Forecasts for good yields in the Canadian crop despite heavy flooding early in the season also kept gains in check.

Chicago Board of Trade wheat for September delivery rose 4 cents at $5.34-1/4. The K.C. September contract was up 7 cents at $6.32-3/4 a bushel.

“People are buying into good quality U.S. wheat and selling what is seen as mediocre EU wheat,” one European trader said.

CBOT front-month wheat posted a weekly loss of 0.7 per cent.

CBOT September corn was down 4-1/2 cents at $3.52-1/2 a bushel. The front-month contract hit its lowest since July 1, 2010 just before the close.

August soybeans were 9-1/2 cents lower at $12.15 a bushel and the new-crop November soybean contract shed 23-1/2 cents, or 2.2 per cent, to $10.58-1/2 a bushel.

For the week, soybeans were up 0.4 per cent and corn was 3.1 per cent lower. Corn has fallen for six weeks in a row, shedding
22.4 per cent during that time.

Mark Weinraub writes for Reuters news service in Chicago

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