U.S. grains: CBOT wheat drops for eighth day

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. wheat futures fell for an eighth straight session on Friday, on track for their longest losing streak since June, due to poor demand for U.S. offerings on the export market despite the streak of declines.

“There is not a lot of business being done,” said Mark Schultz, analyst at Northstar Commodity in Minneapolis. “Even though we have gone lower, we still didn’t pick up any new business.”

Corn and soybean futures were both mixed, with nearby contracts consolidating near weekly lows while deferred offerings firmed.

A bearish tone hung over the market due to expectations for good planting progress across much of the U.S. Midwest in the coming weeks.

“The market… has anticipated the crop getting planted,” said Bill Gentry, broker at Risk Management Commodities.

For the week, Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat was down 5.5 per cent, its biggest weekly decline in four months.

CBOT corn was off 4.5 per cent for the week, its biggest weekly loss since September. CBOT soybeans fell 2.4 per cent this week.

Wheat posted the biggest declines on Friday.

Losses in K.C. hard red winter wheat and MGEX spring wheat contracts outstripped declines in the benchmark Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat contracts due to improved weather forecasts for the high-protein varieties grown in the U.S. Plains.

“Drier weather in the northwestern Midwest and northeastern Plains is allowing planting progress to improve,” said Don Keeney, agricultural meteorologist at MDA Weather Services. “The drier pattern there is also favouring spring wheat planting.”

Keeney’s forecast called for some rain next week in the western central and southwestern Plains, key hard red winter wheat growing areas.

CBOT soft red winter wheat for July delivery settled down four cents at $6.74-1/4 a bushel (all figures US$). CBOT wheat has lost 7.8 per cent during the losing streak.

K.C. hard red winter wheat for July delivery was 11 cents lower at $7.67-3/4 a bushel, and MGEX July spring wheat was down 15-3/4 cents at $7.39-1/4 a bushel.

Egypt’s GASC, one of the world’s largest buyers of wheat, said on Friday it bought 60,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat for shipment in June. U.S. wheat was not offered in the tender.

CBOT July soybeans were down 5-1/4 cents at $14.65 a bushel, and CBOT July corn settled 3/4 cents lower at $4.83-1/2 a bushel after hitting its lowest since March 31 earlier in the session.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago.

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