(Updates U.S. market activity to close)
By Michael Hirtzer
CHICAGO Dec 9 U.S. soybean and corn futures
rose 1 percent on Friday, buoyed by technical buying and
concerns over dry growing conditions in Argentina in the wake of
U.S. Department of Agriculture crop data at midday that was
deemed neutral, traders said.
Wheat futures also rallied at the Chicago Board of Trade,
with all three commodities adding to gains late in the session.
CBOT corn led the way higher, with the most-active March
futures contract finishing up 6 cents at $3.59-1/2 per
bushel and surpassing several key moving averages. Corn for the
week jumped 3.3 percent, its largest weekly gain since October.
Soybeans for January delivery were 10-1/2 cents higher
at $10.37-1/2 per bushel, rising 1.1 percent for the week and
recovering from an earlier two-week low.
The gains came after USDA in a monthly report left U.S.
soybean, corn and wheat stockpile estimates unchanged and hiked
global stockpiles to account for bigger corn production in
Brazil and wheat output in Australia.
"Corn ignored a bearish world supply and demand from the
USDA and rallied on continued concern about dryness in southern
Argentina and firmer petroleum prices," ED&F Man Capital analyst
Charlie Sernatinger said in a note to clients.
The Commodity Weather Group said rainfall was likely to be
limited next week in Argentina, although extended outlooks for
precipitation within the next 10 days could help alleviate dry
The USDA put U.S. soybean ending stocks at 480 million
bushels, unchanged from its estimate in November and 10 million
bushels above the analysts' average estimate from a Reuters
U.S. corn ending stocks were seen at 2.403 billion bushels,
10 million below analysts' estimates, with U.S. wheat pegged at
1.143 billion bushels, 4 million above market expectations.
The USDA's December monthly outlook typically has fewer
changes than data due in January, which will include final U.S.
crop production figures for the 2016-17 growing season as well
as quarterly grain stocks.
CBOT March wheat futures settled 8 cents higher at
$4.16-1/4 per bushel, bringing the week's gains to 2.2 percent.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commision after the close of
trading said speculative investors, including hedge funds,
increased their net short or bearish positions in CBOT corn and
wheat futures and slashed their net long in soybeans in the week
ended Dec. 6.
(Additional reporting by Mark Weinraub in Washington, Theopolis
Waters in Chicago, Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus Trompiz
in Paris; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and James Dalgleish)