U.S. grains: Corn, soy, wheat close lower, post weekly losses

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures fell on Friday on a profit-taking setback after posting gains in the previous two sessions, traders said.

Soybeans closed near session lows but the declines were kept in check by technical buying as prices neared contract lows hit earlier in the week. Expectations for huge plantings in 2016 adding to the already ample supply base put further pressure but better-than-expected U.S. export data also lent support.

Corn and wheat futures also eased, pressured by ample supplies and weak demand for U.S. supplies on the export market. Some end-of-week short covering in both commodities limited the drops.

All three commodities notched weekly losses.

“It is clear that global supply is strong and that means lower prices and our forecasts don’t have much of an upside in terms of price,” said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank.

Chicago Board of Trade January soybean futures ended down 7-3/4 cents at $8.55-1/4 a bushel (all figures US$). Soybeans fell 1.3 per cent this week, their fourth straight week of losses.

Private analytics firm Informa Economics on Friday raised its forecast for 2016 U.S. soybean plantings to a record 85.3 million acres.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday morning said weekly export sales of soybeans totaled 1.297 million tonnes in the latest week, topping the high end of market estimates that ranged from 600,000 to 1 million tonnes.

CBOT December corn futures, which fell four per cent this week, ended 3-3/4 cents lower at $3.58-1/4 a bushel.

CBOT December soft red winter wheat was down 2-1/4 cents at $4.95-3/4 a bushel. The front-month contract has shed 5.3 per cent this week, its biggest weekly loss since the week ended July 24.

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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