CHICAGO, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) grains futures close mixed on Friday with wheat futures falling to a two-week low on Friday and corn hitting a two-week low on technical selling, including fund long liquidation.
Soybeans were modestly higher, bouncing after the spot March contract hit a six-week low.
The most active corn contract for May delivery fell 1.75 cent, or 0.47 percent, to 3.7075 U.S. dollars per bushel. May wheat delivery fell 5.5 cents, or 1.21 percent, to 4.48 U.S. dollars per bushel. May soybeans rose 1.75 cent, or 0.17 percent, to 10.2425 U.S. dollars per bushel.
In the outside markets, the Brent crude oil market is 0.43 U.S. dollar per barrel lower, the U.S. dollar is higher, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 52 points lower.
Deanna Hawthorne-Lahre, StatFutures co-owner and trader, says that global crop estimates are moving markets.
"In wheat, Argentina upped its 2017 crop estimate to 18.5 million tons from 15 million tons. That really caught the pit traders with their pants down," Hawthorne-Lahre says. Soybean traders are smelling something about Brazil, or more U.S. acreage, or both.
The corn market remains bouyant, in spite of all the whining about Mexico getting corn from SA.
Funds appeared to be trimming big net long, or bought, positions built up in recent weeks. Weekly data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed non-commercial traders in the week to Feb. 14 built their biggest net long since July in corn, and the second-biggest since July in soybeans.
Open interest in CBOT corn plunged by more than 29,000 contracts and by more than 22,000 contracts in soybeans on Thursday as futures declined, an indication of traders exiting long positions.
The government projected a seven percent decline in U.S. corn production in the 2017/18 marketing year to 14.065 billion bushels, but ending stocks were expected to remain burdensome at more than 2 billion bushels.
For soybeans, the USDA estimated the 2017/18 crop at 4.180 billion bushels, down three percent from the previous year despite an expected increase in plantings, while ending stocks were seen flat at 420 million bushels.