By Kirk Maltais

--Wheat for May delivery rose 2.6% to $5.67 1/2 a bushel, on the Chicago Board of Trade on Friday, with traders covering short positions as weather in the U.S. and Russia cuts into expected wheat production.

--Corn for May delivery rose 1.6% to $4.33 1/2 a bushel.

--Soybeans for July delivery rose 1.4% to $11.50 1/2 a bushel.


Dimming Outlook: Analysts are tempering their expectations about the size of Russia's 2024 wheat crop, with weather conditions in growing areas turning unfriendly, SovEcon said in a note. The firm forecasts that the 2024 Russian crop will be 93 million metric tons, down 1 million tons from previous forecasts, specifically due to reduced precipitation in Russia's South that's hindering the final stages of the winter crop. "After a very good winter, weather conditions have been constantly deteriorating for Russia's southern regions," Andrey Sizov of SovEcon said. The U.S. Central Plains is also facing dryness.

Batch of Sales: The USDA confirmed multiple flash sales of U.S. grains overseas. Mexico purchased 23,000 metric tons of corn for delivery in the 2023/24 marketing year, with another 193,500 tons set for delivery in 2024/25. Additionally, 121,500 tons of soybeans went unknown destinations--with 13,500 tons for delivery in 2023/24 and another 108,000 tons set or delivery in 2024/25. Mexico has stated it's hesitant to buy U.S. corn due to bioengineering techniques used to grow it.

Wide Berth: The EPA confirmed it is issuing an emergency waiver that will allow E15--gasoline blended with 15% ethanol--to be sold nationwide during the summer driving season. Groups representing U.S. ethanol producers and farmers rejoiced, as ethanol is a corn-based fuel and one of the top consumers of U.S. corn supplies, with 5.4 billion bushels of corn expected to be used by the ethanol industry in the 2023/24 marketing year, according to USDA projections.


World Watch: The Middle East conflict is unlikely to affect grains. The effect of Israel attacking Iran overnight was mitigated by indications that neither side intends to escalate the conflict. Any supply issues for grains appear very limited, Tomm Pfitzenmaier of Summit Commodity Brokerage said in a note. "Planting is progressing nicely in the U.S. and there is no threatening weather for the Brazilian safrinha crop, so it is hard to find buyers other than the occasional short covering to boost prices," Pfitzenmaier said about corn.


--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.

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

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

Write to Kirk Maltais at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-19-24 1526ET