February 20, 2015 / 8:24 PM / 4 years ago

GRAINS-Wheat, corn, soybeans close week lower

* Wheat weighed down by poor U.S. export prospects
    * Soybeans set back from 5-week high

 (Recasts, updates with U.S. trading, adds new analyst quote,
changes byline, dateline, pvs PARIS/SYDNEY)
    By Mark Weinraub
    CHICAGO, Feb 20 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures plunged 3.3
percent on Friday, their biggest decline in nearly two months,
on more signs of poor export prospects for U.S. supplies,
traders said.
    Corn and soybean futures also fell, weighed down by a round
of end-of-week profit taking following solid gains on Thursday.
    But wheat notched the biggest decline, capping a week that
saw prices fall 4.3 percent as overseas buyers shunned U.S.
supplies as it was easy to find cheaper stocks from the ample
global supply base. 
    "Prices are too high," said Mike Krueger, president of The
Money Farm, a grain marketing advisory service in Fargo, North
Dakota. "The U.S. is not in the mix. We are not competitive
    The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Friday morning that
weekly export sales of wheat were 305,400 tonnes, just
above the low end of the range of analysts' forecasts for
300,000 to 500,000 tonnes.
    Additionally, Morocco's grain agency said on Friday it had
bought European Union wheat in its latest deal but received no
offers in a tender to buy durum and soft wheat from the United
    Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat for March
delivery fell 17-1/2 cents to settle at $5.10-1/4 a
    The market shrugged off any concerns about a cold snap
across key U.S. growing regions damaging the dormant crop. 
    "We are still the most expensive wheat," said Craig VanDyke,
analyst at Top Third Ag Marketing in Chicago. "Wheat has not
been killed enough yet for us to see significant rallies." 
    CBOT March soybeans settled down 8 cents at $9.99-1/4
a bushel. March corn futures were 4-1/2 cents lower at
$3.85-1/4 a bushel.
    For the week, soybean futures rose 0.9 percent, their third
straight week of gains, while corn futures fell 0.5 percent.
    USDA said on Friday that domestic soybean stockpiles will
continue to grow in the 2015/16 crop despite cuts to acreage
this spring. It forecast cuts to U.S. corn supplies.
Name            Last     Pct Change    Net Change    Pvs Close
CORN MAR5           385.25      -1.15    -4.5        389.75
SOYBEANS MAR5       999.25      -0.7        -8        1007.25
SOY MEAL MAR5       347.5       0         0        347.5
SOYBEAN OIL MAR5    31.48      -1.1        -0.35        31.83
WHEAT SRW MAR5      510.25      -3.32    -17.5        527.75
ROUGH RICE MAR5     10.79      -0.09    -0.01        10.8
M.WHEAT EUR MAY5    188.25      -0.53    -1        189.25
LIGHT CRUDE MAR5    49.91      -1.6        -0.82        51.16
DJ INDU AVERAGE     18108.6  0.68        122.91        17985.77
GOLD LBMA        1199.5      #N/A        -7.55        1207.05
BALTIC EXCH DRY     513       0.39    2        511
US DOLLAR INDEX     94.242      -0.17    -0.162        94.404
In U.S. cents, benchmark contracts, except EU wheat (euros) and
soymeal (dollars).

 (Additional reporting by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago, Gus
Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Sydney)
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