GRAINS-Soybeans end lower, after rising on demand optimism
Adds closing prices
By Christopher Walljasper
CHICAGO, Feb 5 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures ended lower on Friday after trading higher earlier on expectations of continued export demand eating into already tight U.S. stocks.
Corn futures traded slightly lower as traders assessed mixed crop prospects in South America, while wheat ticked up slightly on fears of winterkill across the U.S. Southern plains as frigid weather set in.
Price movements were limited ahead of a U.S. Department of Agriculture supply and demand report next week that is likely to confirm tightening stocks of soybeans and corn.
Despite trading near 6-1/2-year highs, soybeans could still rise further to curb demand, said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities.
The most-active soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade Sv1 ended 5-3/4 cents lower at $13.66-3/4 per bushel, dropping 0.2% for the week.
CBOT corn Cv1 fell 1-1/2 cents to $5.48-1/2 per bushel, ending the week 0.2% lower, while wheat Wv1 added 3-3/4 cents to $6.41-1/4 per bushel, a 3.28% drop for the week.
Soybeans improved midday, but ended lower as traders positioned ahead of next Tuesday's USDA report, expected to show further supply tightening.
"We've been quiet on the export front for a couple days, but people are thinking China will buy ahead of their New Year's holiday," said Joe Davis, director of commodity sales at Futures International.
The United States exported $28.75 billion of agricultural goods and related products to China, the world's biggest soybean importer, in 2020, according to USDA data, missing the $36.5 billion targeted under the Phase 1 trade deal. nL4N2KB3YU
CBOT corn was little changed, though the USDA reported daily export sales of 101,600 tonnes for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2020/2021 marketing year. nFWN2KB1F4
Meanwhile, rain slowed Brazil's soybean harvest and subsequent second corn crop planting, but forecasters still expect bumper crops. nS0N2J306F
In Argentina, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange on Thursday cut its 2020/21 corn crop forecast by 1 million tonnes to 46 million tonnes, citing lower-than-expected yields caused by dry weather. nL1N2KA2BT
(Reporting by Christopher Walljasper; Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Canberra; editing by Dan Grebler and Jonathan Oatis)
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