Chicago wheat futures ticked higher on Friday as the market took a breather after falling for the last four sessions with prices on track for the biggest weekly decline in four months on pressure from ample supplies. Soybeans were little changed, having climbed to a three-month high earlier this week as the market was supported by strong demand and concerns over dryness in Argentina. The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade is down 3.7 percent this week, the biggest slide since the week ending on Aug. 4. Soybeans are down 0.2 percent this week, their first weekly slide since the week ending Oct. 27 and corn has dropped 1.7 percent, its biggest weekly fall since Oct. 20. “The wheat market has been sliding since it peaked around the middle of the year,” said Phin Ziebell, an agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank. “We are not going to break out of this trend unless we see a fundamental change.” Bearish influences this week came from Canada where farmers harvested larger crops than expected this autumn, reaping record-large canola output and a surprisingly big wheat crop, a Statistics Canada report showed on Wednesday. U.S. wheat exporters are finding it difficult to win business as the Black Sea wheat suppliers offer stiff competition. This competition is expected intensify in 2018. Russia will spend 2 billion roubles ($34 million) in grain transportation subsidies to help to speed exports in 2018, the Deputy Agriculture Minister said on Thursday. Already among the world’s largest wheat exporters, Russia is trying to step up a gear after this year’s record crop, which is keeping its grain storage, railway transport and export infrastructure working at maximum capacity. The U.S. Agriculture Department on Thursday said weekly export sales of wheat totalled 323,000 tonnes. Analysts had been expecting wheat export sales in a range from 250,000 to 450,000 tonnes. For soybeans, export sales came in at 2.086 million tonnes, topping forecasts that ranged from 1 million to 1.650 million tonnes. Strong Chinese demand is expected to further support prices. China, the world’s largest soy buyer, imported 8.68 million tonnes of soybeans in November, up 48.1 percent from 5.86 million tonnes in October, figures from the General Administration of Customs of China showed. U.S. soybean exporters have shipped at a slower pace this crop year than in previous years, casting doubt on whether the industry will reach government forecasts for exports. Despite the slow start to exports, the U.S. government is unlikely to reduce export projections when it releases its outlook for supply and demand on Dec. 12, analysts said, because of uncertainty about the size of the crop from the rival Latin American producers due to adverse weather.
(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Christian Schmollinger, source -https://in.reuters.com/article/global-grains/grains-wheat-faces-biggest-weekly-loss-in-4-months-as-abundant-supplies-weigh-idINL3N1O81HT))