U.S. grains: Wheat falls as dollar bounces

Soy firms on export business

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. wheat futures fell on Friday, pressured by a firmer dollar, which makes U.S. grains less competitive globally, and expectations of a busy harvest weekend in the breadbasket of the U.S. Plains, analysts said.

Soybeans closed steady to higher and posted a weekly rise of about three per cent as export demand improved, while corn futures ended firm after touching their highest since mid-April.

Chicago Board of Trade July wheat settled down 8-1/4 cents at $5.15-1/4 per bushel (all figures US$). For the week, the contract fell 5-1/2 cents per bushel or 1.1 per cent, halting a two-week climb, as the U.S. harvest began and crop weather improved in Europe.

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CBOT July soybeans ended flat on Friday at $8.67-3/4 a bushel, paring gains after reaching $8.73-1/2, the contract’s highest level since April 13. For the week, the contract rose 27 cents or 3.2 per cent, the biggest weekly climb for a most-active soybean contract since early October.

CBOT July corn settled up 2-1/4 cents on Friday at $3.31-1/4 a bushel and ended the week up 5-1/2 cents or 1.7 per cent.

Wheat futures sagged on profit-taking a day after the July contract set a one-month high, and then hit technical resistance at its 50- and 200-day moving averages. The expanding harvest of hard red winter wheat in Texas and Oklahoma added to bearish sentiment.

“We have a pretty active harvest weekend coming up here,” said Brian Hoops, president of Midwest Market Solutions.

A rebound in the dollar weighed on grains. The dollar rose on better-than-expected U.S. payrolls data, halting a two-week slump that had helped lift grain and soy futures by making U.S. products more attractive to holders of other currencies.

Soybeans drew early support after the U.S. Department of Agriculture through its daily reporting system confirmed sales of 588,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to unknown destinations.

Corn rose on technical buying. Commodity funds held a massive net short position in CBOT corn futures as of late May, leaving the market vulnerable to bouts of short-covering.

— Reporting for Reuters by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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