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Grain futures - weekly outlook: March 17 - 21

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Investing.com -

Investing.com - U.S. wheat prices rallied sharply on Friday, as worries over political instability and violence in Ukraine fuelled concerns over a disruption to supplies from one of the world's largest wheat exporters.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, wheat for May delivery hit a daily peak of $6.9100 a bushel on Friday, before trimming gains to close the week at $6.8720 a bushel, up 2%, or 13.4 cents.

Wheat rose to a four-month high of $6.9640 a bushel on March 13 as ongoing concerns over a disruption to supplies from Ukraine due to geopolitical turmoil lifted prices.

The May wheat contract ended the week with a gain of 4.83%. During the past two weeks, wheat futures have risen nearly 14%, their biggest two-week rally since July 2012.

Ukraine is forecast to export 10 million tonnes of wheat in the current marketing season, according to the USDA. A disruption to supplies from Ukraine could mean increased demand for U.S. wheat.

Concerns that adverse weather conditions in key wheat-growing states in the U.S. will curb output and damage the quality of the harvest further boosted prices.

Meanwhile, soybeans for May delivery shed 0.56%, or 7.6 cents, on Friday to close the week at $13.8840 a bushel.

The May soybean contract lost 4.74% on the week amid fresh concerns over a slowdown in demand for U.S. supplies from top consumer China.

Elsewhere on the Chicago Board of Trade, corn futures for May delivery inched up 0.21% to settle at $4.8600 a bushel by close of trade on Friday.

On the week, the May corn contract declined 0.61%, the first weekly loss in eight weeks.

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

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

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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