By Kirk Maltais
--Wheat for December delivery on the Chicago Board of Trade on Friday rose 3.4% to $5.75 a bushel, the highest close since March, after an uptick in wheat prices out of the Black Sea area.
--Soybeans for November delivery rose 1.5% to $10.43 1/2 a bushel.
--Corn for December delivery rose 0.9% to $3.78 1/2 a bushel.
Black Sea Cues: Russian wheat prices rose to $235 to $240 a ton, according to AgResource. The grain has seen strong demand from importers. In addition, "Black Sea farmers are reluctant to add to cash sales amid severe dryness and as optimal winter-wheat-seeding windows begin to close in early October," AgResource said.
Hot Pot Help: Soybean futures remained at more than two-year highs, buoyed by strength in the vegetable oil market as well as confirmation of more export sales to China. Rapeseed oil on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange is being supported by the return of large group dining in China such as hot pot restaurants, said Darin Friedrichs, senior Asia commodity analyst at StoneX. Meanwhile, the USDA confirmed Friday that China purchased 210,000 metric tons of U.S. corn and 132,000 tons of soybeans. An additional 100,000 tons of soybean meal was sold to unknown destinations, the USDA said. Large sales of soybeans to China were reported by the USDA every day this week.
To The Rescue: President Trump is allocating $14 billion in aid for agricultural producers affected by Covid-19, the USDA said Friday. The funds are on top of aid distributed to farmers under the CARES Act. Payments will be based on 2020 planted acres of cash crops including corn, wheat, soybeans, or maximum inventories of livestock in the case of livestock producers.
China Risk: Continued reports of large Chinese purchases by the USDA has been the main driver for upward moves in grains futures this week. Some traders project soybean prices could top $11 a bushel. However, traders appear to be ignoring the possibility that these purchases could dry up quickly, said Arlan Suderman of StoneX. "Money flow is currently choosing to ignore the risks that Chinese demand may fall short of their hopes, while choosing to focus on bullish hopes," Mr. Suderman said.
--The USDA releases its weekly grain export inspections data at 11 a.m. ET Monday.
--The USDA releases its weekly crop progress report for the 2020/21 crop at 4 p.m. ET Monday.
--The USDA releases its monthly cold storage report at 3 p.m. ET Tuesday.
--Lucy Craymer contributed to this article.
Write to Kirk Maltais at firstname.lastname@example.org