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U.S. grains: Soybean, corn futures close firm; wheat falls for 4th day

Heap of soybeans, close up, full frame
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Chicago | Reuters – Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures firmed on technical buying on Friday but gains were kept in check by expectations for a bumper U.S. harvest in the coming weeks and concerns about exports, traders said.

Corn settled in positive territory, with traders focused on good demand for the yellow grain. Wheat futures dropped for the fourth day in a row but closed above session lows due to bargain buying.

Still, concerns about U.S. exports limited prospects for wheat futures as overseas supplies were able to fill much of the current demand.

“Weak export sales remain a drag on the market while weather appears to be improving a bit overseas,” Farm Futures analyst Bryce Knorr said in a note to clients.

Chicago Board of Trade December soft red winter wheat ended down 2-1/2 cents at $5.11-1/4 a bushel. For the week, the contract fell 6.0 percent.

The U.S. Agriculture Department on Friday morning said weekly export sales of wheat were 379,800 tonnes, in line with market forecasts but down from a week ago.

CBOT November soybeans were up 4-3/4 cents at $8.44 a bushel while corn firmed 3/4 cent to $3.67 a bushel. Soybeans rose 0.2 percent this week while corn rose 0.7 percent.

Market attention is turning toward a monthly U.S. government crop report next Wednesday that will update official corn and soybean harvest forecasts.

Analysts expect the report will raise the government’s forecast for soybean production to 4.649 billion bushels, based on yields of 52.2 bushels per acre. The corn production outlook was expected to be trimmed, but still remain massive at 14.529 billion bushels, based on a yield of 177.8 bushels per acre.

Demand concerns also kept a bearish tone over soybeans.

U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Friday that he has tariffs ready to go on $267 billion worth of Chinese imports in addition to the $200 billion of its goods already facing the risk of duties.

The public comment period for proposed U.S. tariffs on the additional $200 billion worth of Chinese imports expired at 0400 GMT on Friday.

An outbreak of African swine fever in China was also dampening market sentiment as it could curb demand for soymeal feed from the country’s massive pig industry.

Chicago wheat futures fell for a fourth straight session on Friday to hit a six-week low, sapped by investor selling and weak demand for U.S. supplies. (Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore,

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