Grain futures – Weekly review: Sept. 30 – Oct. 4 By

U.S. grain futures ended Friday’s session mixed, with wheat prices easing down modestly as investors locked in gains from a rally that took prices to a three-month high on Thursday.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, wheat for December delivery shed 0.35% on Friday to settle the week at USD6.8700 a bushel. CBOT December wheat prices advanced 0.5% on Thursday to settle at USD6.8920 a bushel.

The December wheat contract ended the week with a gain of 0.6%, the third consecutive weekly advance.

Wheat prices rallied to USD6.9787 a bushel on Thursday, the strongest level since June 24, amid indications of robust demand for U.S. wheat and concerns over tightening global supplies.

Meanwhile, soybeans for November delivery rose 0.5% on Friday to settle the week at USD12.9500 a bushel by close of trade. The November contract climbed 1.15% on Thursday to settle at USD12.8820 a bushel.

Despite Friday’s gains, prices of the oilseed lost 1.85% on the week.

On Friday, influential industry group Informa Economics cut its forecast for U.S. soybean production to 3.176 billion bushels, 1.5% lower from a previous estimate.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, approximately 11% of the U.S. soy harvest was completed as of last week, improving from 3% harvested in the preceding week.

The USDA also said that 53% of the soy crop was in ‘good’ to ‘excellent’ condition as of last week, up from 50% a week earlier.

Elsewhere on the Chicago Board of Trade, corn futures for December delivery added 0.9% on Friday to settle the week at USD4.4320 a bushel. The December contract settled 0.05% higher on Thursday at USD4.3920 a bushel.

For the week, the December corn contract dropped 2.45%, the largest weekly decline in three weeks.

Prices of the grain fell to a three-year low of USD4.3512 a bushel on October 2. Futures have been on a downward trend in recent weeks as investors monitored improving crop prospects in the U.S. Midwest.

According to the USDA, the U.S. corn crop will total 13.84 billion bushels this season, 28% larger than last year’s harvest and the largest crop on record.

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.

The USDA’s weekly crop progress report scheduled for Monday will likely be postponed due to the U.S. government shutdown, as well as the agency’s highly-anticipated supply and demand report on October 11.

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