Chicago corn, wheat and soybean futures all fell in trading Friday, as a negative outside market and concern over U.S. export sales put pressure on agricultural commodities.
The most active corn contract for December delivery fell 11.5 cents, or 1.53 percent, to close at 7.395 dollars per bushel. December wheat declined four cents, or 0.46 percent, to settle at 8.645 dollars per bushel. January soybeans sank 33.25 cents, or 2. 13 percent, to close at 15.2675 dollars per bushel.
Agricultural commodities all saw moderate to sharp losses on the session, as the grains fell in line with the majority of commodities Friday. Gold and crude oil each posted losses of more than two percent, with steep declines also seen in the U.S. stock market
Additionally, employment data from the U.S. Department of Labor showing the U.S. added more jobs than had been expected led to a sharp rise in the dollar, which further pressured the grains. A stronger greenback is a negative force for commodities, as it makes them more expensive to holders of other currencies.
Given the dominant negativity in outside markets, agricultural commodities had little support Friday and traders took the opportunity to engage in some long liquidation selling. However, the release of weekly export sales added even more pressure to the corn and wheat markets.
Weekly export sales for corn were pegged at only 167,900 metric tonnes, far short of the 411,900-ton weekly average required to meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) full-year forecast. Wheat weekly export sales of 362,900 metric tonnes also registered sharply below the 530,000 metric ton average necessary to meet the USDA forecast.
Traders blame the low export sales on the recent rise in corn and wheat prices, and worry that the high price levels have led to a sharp drop in demand for the U.S. crops. Consequently, traders continue to eye the corn and wheat markets with caution, but the two crops could possibly find some support from weather concerns in South America and the United States going forward.
For U.S. soybeans, however, world demand remains strong. Weekly soybean exports were reported as 760,600 metric tonnes, well above the average 195,000 metric tonnes required to meet the USDA forecast. Though the strong export sales give soybeans underlying support, the market was dominated Friday by the poor outside market conditions.