Corn, soybeans end lower Friday
U.S. corn and soybean futures settled lower Friday, as favorable weather for crop growth continued to fuel bearish sentiment among traders.
Chicago Board of Trade September corn futures settled down 11 1/2 cents, or 2.4%, at $4.76 a bushel, a fresh two-and-a-half-year closing low for the front-month. August soybeans fell 26 3/4 cents, or 2.0%, to $13.31 a bushel, a five-month closing low for the front month.
Generally cool, wet weather in the Midwest is benefiting corn and soy crops and raising the likelihood of large harvests this fall. Current cool temperatures are particularly beneficial for corn crops as they approach the end of through their crucial pollination phase.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts record U.S. harvests of both corn and soybeans this year, which would replenish stockpiles of the two commodities depleted when severe drought cut U.S. output last year.
Traders have been concerned about dryness in parts of states including Iowa and Missouri, but rains in those states in coming days will help rebuild soil moisture. Cool temperatures are also helping to prevent soil moisture from evaporating, reducing stress on crops.
The National Weather Service forecasts rainfall of up to 4.2 inches in Missouri in the next five days. It also predicts that temperatures will remain cool across the Midwest for the next two weeks.
Soybeans for most of this month will go through their most important stages of growth, including setting pods and filling them out with beans.
"We're still trading weather and supply," said Mike Zuzolo, president of Global Commodity Analytics and Consulting in Lafayette, Ind. Traders may also have sold soybeans on concerns about weaker cash markets for the oilseed, he said.
For both corn and soybeans, nearby futures fell by more than deferred futures on Friday. Part of the reason is seasonal, traders said. Nearby futures have traded at a premium over deferred futures due to tight current supplies, but supplies will expand as corn and soybeans from the next harvest become available.
Wheat futures settled higher, boosted by expectations for continued strength in export demand from buyers including China. China made large purchases of U.S. wheat in July.
CBOT September wheat rose 2 1/2 cents, or 0.4%, to $6.60 1/2 a bushel. KCBT September wheat settled flat at $7.06 3/4 a bushel. MGEX September wheat fell 1/2 cent, or 0.1%, to $7.41 1/4 a bushel.
Write to Owen Fletcher at email@example.com
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 02, 2013 15:38 ET (19:38 GMT)