U.S. grains: Improving forecast weighs on corn, soybeans

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn and soybean futures fell on Friday, pressured by outlooks for some relief for crops stressed by hot and dry weather during the past few weeks, traders said.

“It is a little bit of a moderation in the weather forecast,” said Bill Gentry, a broker at Risk Management Commodities. “The better rain chances definitely put the market on the defensive.”

End-of-week profit-taking also weighed on the market following rallies on Thursday that pushed both commodities to their highest in more than a week.

Wheat futures were weaker, with a sell-off in MGEX spring pulling Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat and K.C. hard red winter wheat contracts into negative territory.

Corn notched the biggest decline, sagging 2.7 per cent and falling below the key $4 a bushel level (all figures US$).

“Corn was down all day long off of unexpected rains through the center of Iowa and a six- to 10-day model run that came in somewhat wetter and less hot than yesterday’s,” Charlie Sernatinger, global head of grain futures at ED+F Man Capital said in a note to clients.

Chicago Board of Trade December corn futures ended down 11-1/4 cents at $3.93-1/2 a bushel. CBOT November soybeans were 4-3/4 cents lower at $10.22-1/4 a bushel.

For the week, corn futures rose 1.1 per cent while soybeans were up two per cent.

The latest six- to 10-day outlook boosted the chances for some much needed rain in the central Midwest. But temperatures were expected to remain high, limiting the sell-off in commodities markets.

Recent dry weather has already damaged crops, data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed earlier this week.

CBOT September soft red winter wheat was down 6-1/2 cents at $4.99-1/4 a bushel, posting a weekly loss of 1.9 per cent. MGEX spring wheat for September delivery was 12-1/4 cents lower at $7.65-3/4 a bushel. It rose 1.8 per cent this week.

K.C. hard red winter wheat for September delivery was 7-3/4 cents lower at $4.96 a bushel. The contract dropped 3.1 per cent for the week.

Traders said concerns about drought in the U.S. Plains damaging the wheat crops there have already been priced in to the market.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago; additional reporting for Reuters by Colin Packham in Sydney and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris.

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