U.S. grains: Corn, soybeans sink on Midwest weather

Wheat plunges on technical selling, harvest pressure

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Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn and soybean futures fell for a fifth straight session on Friday on crop boosting rains across the Midwest and positioning ahead of government reports on U.S. plantings and stocks due next week.

Wheat futures tumbled to contract lows, with soft red winter wheat hitting its lowest in nearly 10 months, pressured by technical selling and liquidation amid an accelerating harvest and abundant global supplies.

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All three commodities posted weekly losses as fears of renewed economic damage because rising novel coronavirus cases and lockdowns dented investor risk appetites.

Traders squared positions ahead of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data due on Tuesday, which analysts expect will show plentiful supplies of grain and a modest shift in U.S. plantings from corn to soybeans.

Forecasters, meanwhile, expect favourable rains across the heart of the Midwest farm belt through early next week, which would limit stress on crops when above-normal temperatures move into the region around midweek.

Corn is entering its pollination stage, when heat and dryness can hurt yield prospects.

“Without any change to the weather pattern, and being so close to corn’s reproductive stage of development, the trade’s going to continue leaning on this market absent any Chinese demand,” said Jim Gerlach, president of A/C trading.

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) July soybeans fell 4-1/4 cents to $8.65 a bushel, while July corn shed 1/4 cent to $3.17 a bushel. Soybeans fell 1.3 per cent in the week, while corn tumbled 4.7 per cent.

CBOT July wheat fell 12-3/4 cents to $4.74 a bushel after hitting the lowest level since early September, the steepest drop for a most-active wheat contract in three months. Wheat was down for a fourth straight week, shedding 1.5 per cent.

“Corn had its bath yesterday,” said Terry Reilly, senior commodities analyst with Futures International. “Wheat was in line today.”

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

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