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Grain futures - weekly outlook: April 6 - 10

Published 04/05/2015, 08:40 AM
© Reuters.  U.S. wheat futures rally 5% last week on crop concerns
- - U.S. wheat futures rose to a six-week peak on Thursday, as a lack of rainfall in the U.S. grain belt fuelled concerns over the health of the winter-wheat crop.

Commodity markets remained closed on Friday for Good Friday.

Ahead of Friday’s holiday, US wheat for May delivery jumped 7.6 cents, or 1.47%, to settle at $5.3620 a bushel on Thursday. Futures hit an intraday high of $5.4420, the most since February 17.

For the week, the May wheat contract rallied 21.76 cents, or 5.15%, as concerns over the health of the winter-wheat crop supported prices.

Meanwhile, US corn for May delivery tacked on 4.6 cents, or 1.24%, on Thursday to close at $3.8640 a bushel.

Despite Thursday's gains, the May corn contract lost 4.5 cents, or 1.21%, after the USDA raised its outlook for domestic supplies and spring plantings.

The USDA said on Tuesday that U.S. corn inventories on March 1 totaled 7.745 billion bushels, 11% higher than last year.

The agency also projected U.S. farmers would plant 89.199 million acres with corn in 2015, surpassing forecasts for 88.735 million but down from 90.597 million in 2014.

Elsewhere on the Chicago Board of Trade, US soybeans for May delivery shed 3.6 cents, or 0.38%, to end at $9.8600 a bushel.

On the week, the May soybean contract picked up 17.87 cents, or 1.78%, halting four straight weeks of losses.

The USDA said that domestic soybean stocks at the start of March totaled 1.334 billion bushels, 34% higher than last year.

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According to the agency, growers in the U.S. will sow 84.635 million acres of soybeans this year, up 1.1% from a year earlier.

In the week ahead, market players will focus on the release of key USDA data, including crop progress and weekly export sales figures.

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

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