Chicago wheat futures bounced on Friday after falling to three-week lows this week as another arctic blast across the US winter wheat belt raised worries about the dormant crop, traders and analyst said. That spurred technical buying with Chicago wheat rising to a one-week high. "We pressed and pressed this wheat market; it needed some breathing room," said Roy Huckabay, a grains analyst with The Linn Group.
Soyabeans were also higher, on track for a fourth consecutive week of gains, as a Brazilian truckers' strike disrupted supply and took attention away from an expected record harvest in South America. "The uncertainty over the Brazilian strike situation seems to have abated but some longs are still getting in," said Terry Reilly, an analyst with Futures International. Brazilian truckers protesting a new fuel tax lifted their blockade of dozens of highways by Friday after police began fining and arresting protesters. But blockages remained at 59 locations across six states on Friday, down from 88 on Thursday, according to highway police.
The soyabean oil market was also strong as traders exited their soyameal/soyaoil spread positions on the last trading day of the month. March soyaoil busted through its 100-day moving average, hitting a five-week top, after fewer-than-expected deliveries were posted against the expiring contract overnight.
Chicago Board of Trade March wheat was up 9-1/2 cents, or 1.9 percent, at $5.12-3/4 a bushel by 11 am CT (1700 GMT). Kansas City March wheat was also higher after sinking to a 4-1/2-year low of $5.17-1/4 on Thursday on sluggish exports. Chicago March soyabeans were up 5-1/4 cents, or 0.5 percent at $10.29-1/4. This brought the contract's weekly gains to just over 3 percent and its rise in February to 7 percent. Chicago corn edged up 2-1/4 cents, or 0.6 percent to $3.82-1/4, supported by an easing in the dollar after Thursday's one-month high against a basket of currencies. Cold weather persists across the US wheat belt.