Grain futures - Weekly outlook: July 15 - 19

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Investing.com - U.S. grain prices ended Friday's session mostly lower, with corn and soybean futures falling sharply after the U.S. Department of Agriculture raised its estimate for domestic corn and soy supplies.

Market players also continued to monitor weather conditions across grain-growing regions in the U.S. Midwest and in the Great Plains.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, corn futures for September delivery tumbled 2.9% on Friday to settle the week at USD5.4413 a bushel.

Earlier in the session, the September contract fell to a daily low of USD5.4363 a bushel, the weakest level since July 9.

The USDA said on Thursday that U.S. stockpiles before the 2014 harvest will total 1.959 billion bushels, up 0.5% from its month-earlier prediction of 1.949 billion bushels.

Market analysts expected the USDA to cut its corn outlook by 3.5% to 1.874 billion bushels.

The agency also said that this fall's U.S. corn harvest will total 13.95 billion bushels, an all-time high.

According to the USDA, global supplies will total 150.97 million tons, below expectations for 152.4 million tons.

Despite Friday's dismal performance, corn futures rose 3.2% on the week, amid earlier concerns that warm weather in key corn-growing states in the U.S. may damage crops.

Meanwhile, soybeans for August delivery plunged 3% Friday to settle the week at USD14.2813 a bushel by close of trade.

Earlier in the day, the August contract slumped to a daily low of USD14.2775 a bushel, the weakest level since July 8.

Prices of the oilseed declined 0.3% on the week.

The USDA raised its forecast for domestic soybean stocks as of August 31 to 295 million bushels, up 11% from the 265 million bushels estimated a month ago.

Analysts had projected 270 million bushels.

The report also showed that global supplies of the oilseed will total 74.12 million tons, a record high.

Elsewhere on the Chicago Board of Trade, wheat for September delivery eased down 0.2% on Friday to settle the week at USD6.8100 a bushel.

On the week, CBOT wheat futures rose 3.6%.

The USDA said U.S. wheat reserves at the end of the crop's current marketing year on May 31 will total 576 million bushels, down from 659 million bushels estimated last month.

Market analysts expected the USDA to cut its wheat forecast to 624 million bushels.

The agency said it expected U.S. wheat exports to be 100 million bushels higher in the current crop year than it previously forecast, citing "strong sales, particularly to China."

According to the USDA, global wheat inventories will total 172.38 million tons, down 4.9% from a previous forecast.

In the week ahead, corn and soybean traders will continue to pay close attention to weather forecasts for grain-growing regions in the U.S. Midwest, while wheat traders will monitor temperatures in the Great Plains-region.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, government figures show. Wheat was fourth, behind hay.

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