Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

U.S. grains: Drought damage supports U.S. wheat; corn, soybeans firm

Chicago / Reuters – U.S. wheat futures rose on Friday, buoyed by signs of poor yields in drought-hit U.S. spring wheat belts, but the benchmark Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat contract was still headed for a third straight weekly loss as U.S. crop troubles were set against ample global supplies.

Corn and soybeans firmed on concerns about a dry weather forecast in some growing areas of the U.S. Midwest.

“The six to 10-day weather forecast shows average temperatures across the Corn Belt and above-average temperatures in the northern Plains,” Derek Hullett at CHS Hedging said in a research note. “Precipitation is unlikely as we head into the month of August.”

CBOT September soft red winter wheat futures ended up 1-1/4 cents at $4.81 a bushel. MGEX spring wheat was 4 cents higher at $7.40-1/2 a bushel.

Hot and dry weather during the growing season slashed yield prospects for U.S. hard red spring wheat to the lowest in nearly a decade, according to results from the Wheat Quality Councils’ annual tour of North Dakota, the top production state for the crop.

The findings of the tour have helped wheat prices gain footing after falling this week to their lowest since late June. But signs of large harvests in other major exporters like Russia have served as a reminder of ample global supplies.

“Dry conditions in spring wheat areas will provoke a significant drop in harvest potential in the U.S.,” consultancy Agritel said, adding, however: “The competition between all players of the Black Sea (region) should be fierce … considering the size of the volumes collected.”

CBOT November soybean futures were up 5-1/2 cents at $10.13 a bushel and CBOT December corn settled 1/4 cent higher at $3.88 a bushel.

Soybeans generated additional strength from a rally in the soyoil market. Soyoil hit its highest in more than six months after a court ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency erred when setting standards for how much renewable fuel must be included in fuel sold in the United States.

Gains in corn were kept in check after hitting technical resistance at the 10-day moving average.

For the week, corn futures dropped 1.1 per cent and soybean futures fell 1.0 per cent. CBOT soft red winter wheat was down 3.6 per cent this week while MGEX spring wheat was down 3.1 per cent.

– Additional reporting by Colin Packham in Sydney and Gus Trompiz in Paris.

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