PARIS/SINGAPORE - Chicago wheat consolidated on Friday near a six-month low struck a day earlier as the market remained capped by sluggish U.S. exports and scope for increased Black Sea shipments.
Corn and soybeans edged lower as forecasts pointing to more rain in the Midwest at the end of the week tempered concerns about the effects of recent dryness.
A firm dollar, as economic worries encouraged buying of the U.S. currency as a safe haven, also curbed Chicago grains by making them more expensive overseas.
The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up 0.6% at $7.53-1/2 a bushel by 1058 GMT, after hitting its lowest since Feb. 3 on Thursday.
For the week, the market is down 6.5%, the biggest loss since mid-July. Shipments of Ukrainian grain continue to leave Black Sea ports under a wartime corridor agreement, while traders have reported falling export prices for wheat in both Ukraine and Russia, which is trying to shift an expected record harvest.
"Ukrainian grain flows have picked up steam, and this is helping to push down global wheat prices," according to a Hightower report.
A meeting on Thursday between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan and U.N. chief Antonio Guterres also fuelled market chatter about possible negotiations to end the war with Russia, although analysts remain cautious about Black Sea export prospects.
"Generally speaking, the supply outlook remains positive, though it is still fraught with considerable uncertainty, which argues against any pronounced fall in wheat prices," Commerzbank said in a note.
Export sales of U.S. wheat during the week ended Aug. 11 were just 207,200 tonnes, a marketing year low.
CBOT corn was down 0.5% at $6.13 a bushel, while soybeans were 0.8% lower at $13.93-1/2 a bushel, keeping both crops on course for a weekly loss.
Improving weather in parts of the U.S. Midwest countered support from stronger than expected weekly U.S. soybean export sales, which had helped Chicago soybeans end higher on Thursday. Rain and cooler temperatures in Europe this week have also taken attention away from drought losses to corn there, although traders said hot weather forecast next week may limit relief for crops.
Argentina's corn harvest for the current 2021/2022 season is estimated to reach 52 million tonnes, according to data released by the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange on Thursday, up sharply from last week's 49 million tonne forecast.
(Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Shinjini Ganguli)