By Kirk Maltais

-- Corn for May delivery rose 1.6% to $4.34 3/4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on Friday, with traders digesting Thursday's WASDE report while grappling with higher global uncertainty and stubborn inflation.

-- Soybeans for May delivery rose 1.3% to $11.72 a bushel.

-- Wheat for May delivery rose 0.6% to $5.55 1/4 a bushel.


Turning the Corner: Most-active corn led the CBOT higher Friday, reversing Thursday's decline after the USDA's estimates showed less in the way of changes for South American production than expected, as well as little stress to U.S. corn production.

Traders are unsure of how accurate the USDA outlook is, particularly for South America.

"The USDA is far more optimistic than local authorities," said Commerzbank in a note. The firm notes that Conab, Brazil's crop agency, cut its outlook for Brazilian corn and soybean production.

Stopped at the Gates: In addition to the issues affecting crop futures as a whole, wheat prices got support from the fact that Russian authorities appear to be holding up the departure from Russian ports of private vessels loaded with wheat, according to AgResource in a note.

"The halting ... raises the prospect of wheat supply shortages and a further rise in export offers," says the firm, adding that export prices for Russian wheat are at roughly $213 per metric ton, which is slightly higher than prices from recent weeks.


Macro Worries: The money flow into commodities may increasingly benefit grains as the market revises its outlook on the Fed's rate-cutting scenario.

"Grains could be next as far as funds buying a cheap commodity against inflation," said Brian Hoops of Midwest Market Solutions.

Grains have been under pressure this year, leading traders and investors to speculate as to where the bottom is amid ample global supplies and the outlook for solid weather supporting spring planting.

Early Positioning: Grain analysts and traders are getting their positions in order in case the May WASDE shows a lot of changes, after minimal alterations were made to the U.S. crop balance sheet expectations in the April report.

"We'll get the first official glimpse of the '24- '25 balance sheet on the May WASDE," Jake Hanley of Teucrium Trading says. "Also, there is little faith in the USDA's South American numbers -- it's possible that the USDA will be making downward adjustments." Hanley speculates that increased short covering may take place leading up to the next report.


-- The USDA is scheduled to release its weekly grains export inspections report at 11 a.m. EDT Monday.

-- The USDA is due to release its first weekly crop progress report at 4 p.m. EDT Monday.

-- The EIA is scheduled to release its weekly ethanol production and stocks report at 10:30 a.m. EDT Wednesday.

Write to Kirk Maltais at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-12-24 1527ET