By Kirk Maltais

--Wheat for September delivery fell 4.2% to $6.96 1/2 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on Friday as indications of less-severe dry weather for the latter half of July put pressure on grain futures.

--Corn for December delivery lost 1.7% at $5.37 a bushel.

--Soybeans for November delivery fell 0.2% to $14.02 a bushel.


Open Question: Grain traders are mulling how extensive the heat will be in U.S. growing areas in the coming weeks. "Ideas that the forecasted heat and dryness will be relatively short-lived as suggested by latest NWS 30-day forecasts are pressuring the market, along with stepped up farmer sales," said Joel Karlin of Ocean State Research. Last week, grain futures got a boost from forecasts of dire drought conditions in the Midwest.

Risk Tolerance: Uncertainty about what new developments may come out of the Black Sea over the weekend caused many traders to cut long positions in order to pare their risk for volatility. Traders are preparing for new possible attacks on port cities and shipping vessels, and for the chance that Russia could re-enter the Black Sea Grain Initiative advance, although that would require negotiations among the parties, Commerzbank said in a note. "For this to happen, it is demanding that its conditions are met, including giving an agricultural bank access to the SWIFT system again -- something that the EU has so far rejected."


Retesting Records: The record-high grain prices seen in 2022 could return if the situation for Black Sea exports worsens. "Both Russia and Ukraine have effectively lit a fuse, declaring that flagged commercial ships traveling in the Black Sea can be targeted," said Jake Hanley of Teucrium Trading. "Unless those comments are walked back, the fuse will continue to burn until a point in time when it reaches the dynamite -- there is an attack on a ship by either side." Corn reached an all-time high of $8.14 a bushel in April 2022, while soybeans hit a record $17.69 a bushel in June 2022 and wheat rose to $12.94 a bushel in March 2022.


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

--The USDA will release its weekly crop progress report at 4 p.m. ET Monday.

--Archer Daniels Midland is scheduled to release its second-quarter earnings report before the stock market opens Tuesday.

--The USDA will release its monthly Cold Storage report at 3 p.m. ET Tuesday.

Write to Kirk Maltais at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

07-21-23 1522ET