U.S. grains: Wheat falls on profit-taking

(Allan Dawson photo)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. wheat futures sank on Friday on a round of end-of-week profit taking after prices hit an 8-1/2 week high on Thursday, traders said.

Soybeans also fell, pressured by the expanding harvest of what is expected to be a bumper crop in the U.S., while corn was close to unchanged.

Wheat had traded higher during Friday’s session but weakened in a wave of technical selling after the benchmark Chicago Board of Trade December soft red winter wheat contract failed to push through resistance at Thursday’s high.

CBOT December wheat closed down five cents at $5.13-3/4 a bushel (all figures US$). For the week, CBOT wheat gained 0.9 per cent. Wheat has risen for four weeks in a row, its longest streak since December 2014.

Ample global supplies alleviated concerns about potential shortfalls in Russian production as farmers there seed the winter wheat crop in dry soils.

“Russia is a big issue because of the dryness,” said Ole Houe, an analyst at brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney. “It is dry winter seeding, they are going to plant less and what they plant is going to have problems with yields because of the dryness.”

CBOT November soybeans ended down three cents at $8.74-1/4 a bushel while CBOT December corn gained 1/2 cent to close at $3.89-1/4 a bushel. Deferred corn contracts settled slightly lower.

For the week, corn dipped 0.1 per cent, snapping a streak of three straight weeks of gains. Soybeans fell 1.6 per cent this week.

Private analytics firm Informa Economics raised its estimate of the U.S. 2015 corn and soybean crops on Friday, trade sources said. The firm projected 2015 U.S. corn production at 13.561 billion bushels, based on a yield of 168.4 bushels per acre. Soybean production was seen at 3.878 billion bushels, with an average yield of 47.2 bushels per acre.

Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Nigel Hunt in London.

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