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Grain futures - weekly outlook: April 28 - May 2

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Shutterstock photo - - U.S. grain futures rose sharply on Friday, with wheat prices climbing to a more than one-week high as renewed concerns over a disruption to supplies from Ukraine lifted prices.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, U.S. wheat for July delivery rallied 1.69%, or 11.6 cents, on Friday to settle the week at $7.0820 a bushel. Earlier in the day, prices rose to a session high of $7.0960 a bushel, the strongest level since April 16.

The July wheat contract ended the week with a gain of 2.49%, or 17.7 cents.

Concerns over the conflict between Russian and Ukraine escalated on Friday after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned that Washington was ready to step up economic sanctions against Russia.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture projected that Russia and Ukraine will produce a combined 74 million tonnes of wheat in the 2013-14 marketing season and export a total of 26.5 million tonnes of the grain, representing 17% of world trade.

A disruption to supplies from the region could mean increased demand for U.S. grains.

Meanwhile, market players continued to monitor weather and crop conditions in the U.S. Great Plains region.

The International Grains Council lowered its global wheat production forecast for the 2014-15 marketing year to 697 million tonnes, a 3 million tonne drop from its previous outlook, citing "less than ideal crop conditions" for winter wheat in the U.S.

Elsewhere on the Chicago Board of Trade, U.S. corn for July delivery advanced 1.08%, or 5.4 cents, on Friday to close the week at $5.1260 a bushel. Corn hit $5.1660 a bushel earlier in the session, the most since April 9.

On the week, the May corn contract rallied 3.62%, or 18.6 cents.

The USDA expects Ukraine to be the third-largest shipper of corn in the current marketing year.

The International Grains Council forecast global corn output will total 950 million tons in 2014-15, down from 965 million tons in the prior season and 11 million tons below a March outlook.

Meanwhile, U.S. soybeans for July delivery jumped 1.65%, or 24.2 cents, on Friday to settle at $14.9420 a bushel by close of trade on Friday.

Despite Friday's gain, the July soybean contract lost 1.37%, or 20.8 cents on the week.

In the week ahead, market players will focus on the release of key USDA data, including crop progress and weekly export sales figures.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, government figures show. Wheat was fourth, behind hay. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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