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Grain futures - Weekly outlook: April 29 - May 3

CommoditiesApr 28, 2013 07:53AM ET
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Investing.com - U.S. grain futures ended Friday’s session mixed, with soybean prices rising to a one-week high amid speculation a disruption to supplies from Brazil will lead to improved demand for U.S. soybeans.

Wheat and corn prices came under pressure as investors continued to monitor weather conditions in key grain-growing regions in the U.S.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, soybeans for May delivery rose 0.7% Friday to settle at USD14.3050 a bushel by close of trade. On the week, the May soy contract advanced a modest 0.2%.

CBOT soy prices rose to a session high of USD14.3150 a bushel on Friday, the strongest level since April 19.

Soy’s gains were limited amid concerns that U.S farmers who are unable to plant corn due to recent weather delays may switch to soybeans, boosting supplies of the oilseed.

Elsewhere on the Chicago Board of Trade, wheat for May delivery tumbled 2.1% on Friday to settle the week at USD6.8600 a bushel. Earlier in the day, CBOT wheat fell to a session low of USD685.50 a bushel, the weakest level since April 4.

On the week, the May wheat contract lost 3.15%, the second consecutive weekly decline.

Wheat prices weakened after weather forecasts pointed to improving weather conditions in the U.S. Great Plains-region.

Wheat traders have been closely monitoring weather and crop conditions in the area, where freezing weather threatens the winter wheat crop.

The USDA said that 35% of the U.S. winter wheat crop was rated “good” to “excellent” as of last week, down from 36% in the preceding week.

Meanwhile, corn futures for May delivery dipped 0.1% Friday to settle the week at USD6.4325 a bushel. The May corn contract declined 1.3% on the week, its second straight weekly loss.

CBOT May corn prices fell to a two-week low of USD6.3612 a bushel on Wednesday after weather forecasters predicted mostly favorable weather conditions in the U.S. Midwest, which could aid early-season corn planting.

However, the uncertainty about shifting weather forecasts kept traders cautious about pushing prices lower.

The USDA said that 4% of the U.S. corn crop was planted as of last week, up from 2% in the preceding week and compared to the five-year average of 16% for this time of year.

In the week ahead, corn and soybean traders will continue to pay close attention to weather forecasts for grain-growing regions in the U.S. Midwest, while wheat traders will monitor temperatures in the Great Plains-region.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, government figures show. Wheat was fourth, behind hay.

Grain futures - Weekly outlook: April 29 - May 3

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