CANBERRA: Chicago wheat futures fell on Friday and were headed for their biggest weekly decline since September as positive crop outlooks in the United States and Australia partly offset cuts to Russian production that drove prices to 10-month highs last week.

Corn and soybean futures were little changed after gaining in the previous session when news of tighter rules on industry tax credits in Brazil led to hopes that U.S. exports could benefit.



* The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up down 0.7% at $6.35 a bushel by 0205 GMT, its eighth consecutive daily fall. The contract was down 6.4% from last Friday's close.

* CBOT soybeans fell 0.1% to $11.98-1/2 a bushel and were down 0.6% this week while corn was 0.1% higher at $4.52-1/4 a bushel and up 1.3% this week.

* Wheat futures surged to $7.20 on May 28 as dry conditions and bitter frosts in Russia, the biggest exporter, led analysts to sharply lower their harvest estimates.

* Russia's Sovecon agricultural consultancy this week cut its forecast for the country's 2024 wheat crop to 80.7 million metric tons, having predicted a 94-million-ton crop as recently as March.

* However, harvest outlooks in other major producers such as the United States and Australia have improved, Ukraine maintained its 2024 grain harvest forecast despite bad weather in May, and planting in Argentina benefited from dry conditions.

* Port worker unions in Argentina, meanwhile, cut short a planned strike in grains shipping ports in the Rosario region, a union head said, in welcome news for farm exports.

* In other crops, Brazilian soybean companies blasted a government executive order that imposes new rules for the use of tax credits, claiming the new measure will make companies less competitive on global markets.

* Traders and producers were hopeful that the U.S. soy export business could get a boost from the Brazilian measures.

* The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported weekly export sales of old-crop corn and new-crop wheat were at the higher end of trade expectations, while sales of old-crop soy landed on the low end of expectations.

* Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn and soybeans but net sellers of wheat on Thursday, traders said.



* World stocks climbed and the euro rose on Thursday after the European Central Bank cut interest rates for the first time in nearly five years, while signalling that further moves could take a while. (Reporting by Peter Hobson; Editing by Janane Venkatraman )