Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn, soybean and wheat futures firmed on Friday, but outlooks for good weather for crop development limited attempts at a rally, traders said.
All three commodities posted weekly losses.
“Ongoing pressure from large supplies and lack of a weather threat kept markets on the defensive this week,” Farm Futures analyst Bryce Knorr said in a note to clients.
Traders cited technical buying and short-covering as supportive to the grains and oilseeds on Friday.
Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) November soybean futures settled up 4-3/4 cents at $9.37-3/4 a bushel, slightly below its session high (all figures US$).
CBOT December corn was 1-1/2 cents higher at $3.65-3/4 a bushel and September wheat futures were up two cents at $4.16 a bushel.
“Wheat prices are trying to stabilize,” consultancy Agritel said in a research note. “The current level of prices is triggering some bargain buying.”
For the week, wheat was off five per cent, soybeans were down 0.7 per cent and corn was down 2.6 per cent.
Seasonal supply pressures from big harvests in Russia and elsewhere in the Black Sea export region along with chart-based selling momentum pushed wheat futures in Paris to new lows on Friday.
Weather forecasts looked relatively favorable for Midwest corn and soybean crops, although there was still uncertainty as to whether showers would reach all of the areas affected by very dry conditions earlier this summer.
“Grain prices will trade largely sideways in the coming weeks as wheat harvests are nearly finished and weather conditions remain favourable for upcoming Northern Hemisphere corn and soybean harvests,” BMI Research analysts said in a note.
The weather forecast also added pressure to the wheat market as rain was expected to recharge soil moisture in winter wheat areas ahead of planting this fall.
Soybeans have been underpinned this week by renewed export demand, suggesting a window for U.S. exports despite record harvest supplies in rival exporter Brazil.
— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting fo Reuters by Manolo Serapio Jr. in Manila and Gus Trompiz in Paris.