By Kirk Maltais

--Wheat for May delivery rose 2.2% to $5.68 1/4 a bushel, on the Chicago Board of Trade on Friday, with Ukraine's strike on a Russian airfield along with lingering concerns about Russian grain exports supporting the contract throughout the day.

--Soybeans for May delivery rose 0.6% to $11.87 1/4 a bushel.

--Corn for May delivery fell 0.3% to $4.33 3/4 a bushel.


The Saga Continues: A Ukrainian drone attack targeting the Morozovsk airbase in Russia has killed or injured airfield personnel and destroyed six Russian warplanes, according to officials in Kyiv. "That put the spot May Chicago wheat contract at its highest level in more than a month, despite the lack of a true fundamental boost -- the Black Sea region continues to set the market for global exports," Matt Zeller of StoneX said in a note. Issues with cargo vessels being unable to leave Russian ports were a factor lifting wheat this week.

Smooth Start: The current weather forecast for the U.S. Corn Belt is for dry and temperate weather, which could allow many farmers to get into their fields and plant their corn crop ASAP. "U.S. forecasts continue to suggest a warmer, dryer outlook by mid-month, which if realized would help stimulate swift corn plantings," Naomi Blohm of Total Farm Marketing said in a note. Corn is typically planted first by farmers, with much of that happening in April to early May when planting is then switched to soybeans.


Clawing Back Up: Next week's WASDE report isn't expected to show much change in U.S. crop stats as farmers are just now getting into the fields to begin planting. However, markets will be watching the USDA's estimates for foreign crops, especially Brazil. The USDA is expected to show the Brazilian corn crop up 1 million metric tons from last month's estimate, and its soybean production up 500,000 tons, according to projections from Marex. Argentinian production isn't expected to change from the previous month.

Improved Moisture: With planting beginning in the U.S., the moisture situation in the Corn Belt looks to be supportive for early crops. In the latest release from the U.S. Drought Monitor, most areas of the U.S., particularly in the eastern portion of the Corn Belt, have experienced improvements to soil moisture over the past month. Some areas of the Western Corn Belt did see some drying, particularly in Kansas and South Dakota. Iowa has improved, although there is still a pocket of the northeast part of the state that is experiencing extreme drought.


--The USDA will release its weekly grains export inspections report at 11 a.m. ET Monday.

--The USDA will release its first weekly Crop Progress report at 4 p.m. ET Monday.

--The EIA will release its weekly ethanol production and stocks report at 10:30 a.m. ET Wednesday.

Write to Kirk Maltais at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-05-24 1523ET