By Kirk Maltais

--Wheat for May delivery fell 1.8%, to $5.69 1/2 a bushel, on the Chicago Board of Trade on Friday, with Russian wheat continues to set the pace for other wheat prices globally.

--Corn for May delivery fell 1.2%, to $4.13 3/4 a bushel.

--Soybeans for May delivery fell 0.9%, to $11.43 1/2 a bushel.


Limited Effect: Sanctions placed on Russia by the U.S. following the death of anti-corruption activist and Putin critic Alexei Navalny aren't expected to affect Russian wheat exports going forward, says Charlie Sernatinger of Marex in a note. "Nothing that was announced today will slow the movement of wheat out of Russia, and it looks like they will have plenty to move again for the season to come," said Sernatinger. Dropping prices for Russian wheat exports have been a source of pressure for U.S. wheat futures.

Losing Footing: CBOT grains started Friday mixed, but turned down quickly across the board heading into the weekend. "Soybean and corn prices remain under pressure in the wake of a persistently bright supply outlook," said Commerzbank in a note. The firm adds that this is especially true of crops in South America, as weather has been supportive in Brazil and Argentina. Grains have attempted to rally multiple times this week, but the rallies have given way to more selling.


Finding the Bottom: With the rally seen in Friday morning trade quickly losing its legs, some grain traders speculated as to whether dropping prices will finally find a bottom, as corn and soybeans are already trading at near multi-year lows on the CBOT. "Talk is building that market lows will be scored early next week with stability or a recovery thereafter," AgResource said in a note. Throughout this week, firms have been holding large short positions, particularly for corn. Last week's CFTC Commitment of Traders showed that fund traders are holding their largest amount of short positions in corn since 2019.

Questions Abound: The potential outlook for Brazil's crop being more forgiving than previously forecast by the country's crop agency, Conab, is seen as a possibility giving fund traders more reason not to rush into a short-covering rally. "Even if one pencils in Conab's numbers, it does not change the balance sheet in a meaningful way," said Jake Hanley of Teucrium Trading. "The funds are in control, and they are short."


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

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

--The USDA will release its weekly export sales report at 8:30 a.m. ET Thursday.

--The USDA will release its monthly Agricultural Prices report at 3 p.m. ET Thursday.

Write to Kirk Maltais at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

02-23-24 1516ET