U.S. corn futures ended the week close to the lowest level in four years on Friday, as ongoing expectations for a record U.S. harvest continued to weigh.
On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, U.S. corn for September delivery inched up 0.41%, or 1.4 cents, on Friday to end the week at $3.6300 a bushel.
Prices hit $3.5640 on Thursday, the lowest since July 2010, before settling at $3.6140, down 0.28%, or 1.0 cent.
On the week, the September corn contract lost 2.2%, or 8.2 cents, the fifth consecutive weekly decline, as near-ideal crop weather in the U.S. Midwest bolstered expectations for a big harvest this autumn.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said earlier in the month that U.S. corn inventories at the end of August will total 1.246 billion bushels, up 8% from its forecast in June.
According to the agency, nearly 76% of the U.S. corn crop was rated “good” to “excellent” as of last week, the highest rating for this time of year since 2004.
Elsewhere on the Chicago Board of Trade, U.S. wheat for September delivery rallied 1.75%, or 9.2 cents, on Friday to end the week at $5.3800 a bushel, as investors speculated lower prices will increase demand for the grain.
Wheat prices fell to a four-year low of $5.2020 a bushel on July 23 as harvest progress in the northern hemisphere underlined the view of ample global supplies.
On the week, the September wheat contract rose 1.07%, or 5.8 cents, the second straight weekly advance.
Meanwhile, U.S. soybeans for August delivery inched up 0.39%, or 4.6 cents, on Friday to settle the week at $12.1220 a bushel by close of trade.
The August soybean contract hit $12.3260 on Thursday, the most since July 11, after the USDA reported bigger-than-expected weekly export figures of the oilseed.
On the week, the August soybean contract rallied 2.93%, or 35.6 cents.
In the week ahead, market players will focus on the release of key USDA data, including crop progress and weekly export sales figures.
Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, government figures show. Wheat was fourth, behind hay.