Grain, Soybean Futures End Week Mostly Lower

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Grain and soybean futures closed mostly lower in an erratic session on Friday, as traders secured positions ahead of the weekend.

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Corn contracts for July delivery fell 1.4% to $3.57 3/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade, the lowest close since early May.

"It has been one heck of a bloodbath," said Brian Grossman, a market strategist at risk manager Zaner Group in Chicago. "This market is getting flushed out."

Dryness concerns earlier in June encouraged traders to factor the risk of damage to the corn crop into prices, but beneficial rainy forecasts in the Midwest have pushed many out of those bets. Improving conditions going into July increase the chances of above-trend corn yields.

But growing conditions in parts of the northern Plains, where some of the national corn crop is grown, are dire. Much of the U.S. spring wheat crop has already been damaged, said Mr. Grossman. That has helped push spring wheat futures at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange higher even while much of the grain-and-oilseed sector is under pressure.

MGEX July spring wheat futures rose 0.8% to $6.61 1/4 a bushel, the highest close in almost three years.

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Soybean futures were mostly steady, with July-dated contracts climbing 0.1% to $9.04 1/2 a bushel. A bounce in crude oil prices, which fell to fresh multimonth lows this week, supported oilseed prices.

Write to Benjamin Parkin at benjamin.parkin@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 23, 2017 16:37 ET (20:37 GMT)