Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures fell for a second straight session on Friday as rains were seen boosting harvest prospects in some dry areas of the Midwest farm belt.
Wheat futures fell on profit-taking and spillover pressure from lower soybeans, although concerns about global supplies limited declines.
Corn was lower much of the session but closed firmer on end-of-week positioning and concerns that rains would only be beneficial for a small share of the crop that is maturing later than normal.
“There were good rains overnight and more rain in the forecast for Iowa and Minnesota. That’s going to help late-filling corn and soybean crops in that area,” said Brian Hoops, president of Midwest Market Solutions.
Grain traders welcomed more U.S. corn and soybean export sales, although sales volumes have been mostly routine, he said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Friday confirmed 129,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans sold to China and 150,000 tonnes of corn sold to Colombia.
Worries about reduced demand from biofuel producers continued to hang over corn and soybean prices.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recommended retroactively lowering biofuel blending mandates for 2020, two sources familiar with the matter said, after the agency on Thursday sent a proposal on the mandates to the White House for review.
Chicago Board of Trade November soybeans fell three cents to $13.23-1/4 a bushel but ended 2.5 per cent higher on the week (all figures US$). December corn futures gained three cents to $5.53-3/4 a bushel for a 3.1 per cent weekly gain, their fourth in five weeks.
CBOT December wheat fell 6-3/4 cents to $7.32-1/2 a bushel, with losses tempered by concerns about tightening global supplies amid reduced harvests in Russia and elsewhere. The contract was up 0.6 per cent on the week.
Russian agriculture consultancy Sovecon cut its wheat export forecast to the lowest in five years, due in part to a smaller crop.
— Reporting for Reuetrs by Karl Plume in Chicago; additional reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris and Colin Packham in Canberra.
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