U.S. grains: Corn, soy, wheat end higher after volatile week

Market assesses U.S. planting, drought threat to Brazil crops

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago corn, soybean and wheat futures rose on Friday after three days of volatile trade following a run-up to eight-year highs, traders said.

The most-active corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade gained 25 cents at $6.73-1/4 per bushel, adding 40-3/4 cents for the week, a 6.4 per cent gain (all figures US$).

CBOT soybean futures rose 32 cents to $15.34-1/4 per bushel, adding 8-1/4 cents on the week, a 1.2 per cent increase.

CBOT wheat climbed 5-3/4 cents higher to $7.34-3/4 per bushel, adding 22-1/2 cents for the week, a 3.2 per cent gain.

“The volatility we’ve seen is probably going to continue into next week, given that this week’s cooling off period hasn’t left us with many answers,” said Dan Hussey, senior market strategist at Zaner Group.

A chilly start to the growing season in the U.S. Midwest and drought in southern Brazil has exacerbated worries about global supply as Chinese demand remains strong.

Expected rain should improve moisture for early corn growth in the U.S. in the next two weeks, although cool temperatures could slow germination, the Commodity Weather Group said in a note.

“Weather is the main focus going forward,” said Mike Seery, president of Seery Futures, noting that uncertainty should be supportive to both corn and soybeans. “The commodity markets are just on fire.”

Wheat eased early but ended the session higher, despite a strengthening dollar that added pressure to the grain in the world market.

“The rise in the U.S. dollar the last couple days is weighing on the wheat market, at least in the short term,” said Hussey. “Global wheat buyers aren’t willing to pay these high prices, for Black Sea wheat or U.S. wheat.”

— Reporting for Reuters by Christopher Walljasper in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Canberra.

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