CHICAGO — U.S. corn and soybean futures eased and soyoil futures plunged by their daily trading limit on Friday on concerns about demand for renewable fuel feedstocks after news the White House was considering offering fuel refiners relief from biofuel blending mandates.
The Reuters report that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was pondering ways to provide relief to oil refiners accelerated end-of-week profit-taking pressure as forecasters called for some crop-boosting rains in parts of the U.S. Midwest and Northern Plains.
“The biofuel news spooked the market, you’ve got some rains in the Dakotas … and the palm oil was down 4% to 5% overnight. That is all weighing on it,” said Craig Turner, senior ag broker at Daniels Trading.
Chicago Board of Trade July soybeans were down 35-1/2 cents at $15.08-1/2 a bushel and down 4.8% in the week, the sharpest weekly drop since mid-January.
July corn was down 14-1/2 cents at $6.84-1/2 a bushel but finished the week up 0.2%, its second straight weekly advance.
July soyoil futures dropped by as much as the daily 3.5-cent trading limit and settled down 3.48 cents at 66.98 cents per lb.
Ahead of an eagerly awaited U.S. corn and soy acreage report due at the end of the month, grain markets will focus on weather in the United States and in South America, where drought has cut corn production in Brazil but good weather has boosted the Argentine crop.
Wheat futures also eased on Friday, led by sharply lower spring wheat prices after recent rains in top producer North Dakota.
CBOT July wheat fell 3 cents to $6.80-3/4 a bushel and K.C. July hard red winter wheat was 2-1/4 cents lower at $6.38. Minneapolis spring wheat for July delivery was 10-3/4 cents lower at $7.64-3/4 a bushel.
(Reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Canberra Editing by Marguerita Choy and Matthew Lewis)