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Grain futures - Weekly outlook: May 20 - 24

CommoditiesMay 19, 2013 07:14AM ET
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Investing.com - U.S. grain prices ended Friday’s session mixed, with front-month soybean and corn futures contracts rising sharply amid ongoing concerns over U.S. crop prospects.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, soybeans for July delivery rallied 1.45% Friday to settle the week at USD14.4850 a bushel by close of trade.

Earlier in the day, prices rose to a session high of USD14.4912 a bushel, the strongest level since March 28.

On the week, the front-month July soy contract added 3.4%, the second consecutive weekly advance.

Market players continued to monitor weather forecasts for the U.S. Midwest region amid ongoing concerns over U.S. planting prospects.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, only 6% of the U.S. soy crop was planted as of last week, significantly below the 43% planted in the same week a year earlier.

Indications of robust demand for U.S. supplies also boosted the oilseed after the USDA said U.S. farmers sold 120,000 tonnes of soybeans to China for 2013-14 delivery and 138,000 tonnes of soybeans to an unknown destination, including 18,000 tonnes for 2012-13.

Meanwhile, corn futures for July delivery jumped 1.7% on Friday to settle the week at USD6.5312 a bushel.  

On the week, the benchmark July corn contract added 2.5%.

The USDA said that 28% of the U.S. corn crop was planted as of last week, significantly below the 82% planted in the same week a year earlier.

Elsewhere on the Chicago Board of Trade, wheat for July delivery fell 0.85% on Friday to settle the week at USD6.8262 a bushel. Earlier in the day, CBOT wheat fell to a session low of USD6.8062 a bushel, the weakest level since April 3.

On the week, the July wheat contract lost 3%, the second consecutive weekly decline, amid easing concerns over global supplies of the grain.

Wheat prices have been under heavy selling pressure in recent sessions after weather forecasts pointed to improved weather for developing crops in the Black Sea region.

Last week the USDA said that global wheat inventories at the end of the year will total 186.4 million metric tons, up from the month-earlier estimate of 182.26 million, citing increased production in Russia, Canada and Australia.

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: May 20 - 24

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