Investing.com – U.S. grain futures fell sharply on Friday, pressured by a broadly stronger U.S. dollar and ample global suppliesOn the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, US soybeans for May delivery fell to $9.7240 a bushel on Friday, the lowest since February 11, before ending at $9.7400, down 16.4 cents, or 1.67%.The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, jumped 1.2% to end at a 12-year high amid growing expectations for higher interest rates in the U.S.A stronger dollar reduces the appeal of U.S. crops to overseas buyers and makes commodities less attractive as an alternative investment.The May soybean contract slumped 13.63 cents, or 1.08%, last week, the second straight weekly loss, amid optimism over the outlook for global suppliesThe U.S. Department of Agriculture left its forecast for domestic soybean stocks at the end of the 2014-15 season unchanged at 385 million bushels earlier in the week.According to the agency, global soybean ending stocks were expected to total 89.5 million tons, up from 89.26 million tons estimated last month.Meanwhile, US corn for May delivery tumbled 8.0 cents, or 2.06%, on Friday to close at $3.8040 a bushel. Prices touched an intraday low of $3.8020 earlier, the weakest level since February 25.For the week, the May corn contract ticked down 5.62 cents, or 1.36%, also the second consecutive weekly decline.The USDA said that U.S. corn inventories at the end of the 2014-15 season will total 1.777 billion bushels, down 50 million bushels from a previous estimate of 1.827 billion bushels.The agency also projected global ending corn stockpiles at 185.28 million metric tons for the 2014-15 season, down from a previous forecast of 189.64 million tons.Elsewhere on the Chicago Board of Trade, US wheat for May delivery shed 5.2 cents, or 1.03%, on Friday to settle at $5.0200 a bushel by close of trade. Earlier in the day, wheat prices touched $5.1340, the most since March 2.
Despite Friday’s losses, the May wheat contract rose 17.0 cents, or 3.94%, on the week, as prices remained supported after the USDA lowered its outlook for domestic and global supplies earlier in the week.Domestic wheat reserves in the season ending in May were expected to total 691 million bushels, down slightly from last month’s forecast of 692 million.According to the USDA, global ending wheat inventories will total 197.71 million tons, down from a forecast of 197.85 in February.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.
Click on the button below and start right away!