Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural futures settled mixed for the trading week ending Jan 10, with soybeans closing at the highest price since summer 2018 on expectations for more Chinese purchases as a result of the phase one trade deal between the United States and China.
The most active soybean contract for March delivery rose 4.5 cents, or 0.48 percent week on week, to close at 9.46 US dollars per bushel. March corn decreased 0.75 cent, or 0.19 percent, to settle at 3.8575 dollars per bushel. March wheat went up 10 cents, or 1.8 percent, to end at 5.645 dollars per bushel.
Technical buying boosted soybeans as traders expected fresh Chinese purchases of US soy as the two countries agreed on the text of a phase one trade deal last month.
For most of the week, traders were adjusting positions and awaiting the key monthly crop report by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
In its world agricultural supply and demand estimates report released Friday, the USDA unexpectedly raised US corn and soybean yield estimates.
The USDA pegged corn production for the 2019/20 marketing year at 13.692 billion bushels, based on average yields of 168 bushels per acre. Soybean production was 3.558 billion bushels, with average yields of 47.4 bushels per acre.
US winter wheat plantings declined to the lowest point over 20 years, although the USDA's estimate was slightly above the average trade insiders' forecast.
Corn futures edged slightly lower mostly on lower-than-expected export sales.
The USDA on Friday morning reported soybean export sales of 355,500 metric tons during the week ending Jan. 2 for 2019/2020 marketing year, up 8 percent from the previous week, but down 59 percent from the prior four-week average.
US corn export sales were 161,900 metric tons for 2019/2020 marketing year, down 70 percent from the previous week and 83 percent from the prior four-week average, according to the USDA.
The USDA pegged wheat export sales at 80,600 metric tons for 2019/2020 marketing year, down 74 percent from the previous week and 87 percent from the prior four-week average.
CBOT wheat futures rallied earlier this week as concerns about tensions in the Middle East following the US killing of an Iranian general weighed on the crop market. However, wheat prices firmed on Friday after foreign exporters showed high demand for US crop.