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Record Highs and Lows to Close the Year

Grains saw mixed movement leaving the overnight with only slight changes from the last session.

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Wheat futures are poised for an annual decline of 13%. Record global supplies have continued to drive prices lower. Corn is set to finish the year down nearly 3% after a huge US harvest. This will be the fourth year of annual declines for corn and wheat. Soybeans are expected to break their three year declines and gain 17% over last year.

Pork producer Smithfield Food Inc. has begun buying grain elevators and purchasing grain directly from handlers. Last September Smithfield bought two Ohio grain elevators and now buys about 65% of its feed directly from farmers. Large grain handlers have not commented specifically on Smithfield.

Egypt's state grain buyer GASC bought 235,000 tonnes of wheat in a tender on Thursday. The total purchase comprised 175,00 tonnes of Russian wheat and 60,000 tonnes from Ukraine, traders said.

China's Ministry of Agriculture said on Friday the recent outbreaks of bird flu have been handled in a "timely and effective" manner without spreading and have not affected chicken products or prices. China has culled more than 170,000 birds in four provinces since October and closed some live poultry markets after people and birds were infected by strains of the bird flu. South Korea and neighboring countries still battle outbreaks of various strains.

Argentina is predicted to harvest 15 million tonnes of wheat in the 2016/17 crop year, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday, up from a prior estimate of 12.5 million tonnes as farmers plant the grain in some areas previously dedicated to soybeans. The 2016/17 crop year is the first since President Mauricio Macri ditched the wheat export curbs and taxes. Argentine growers are expected to plant 20.3 million hectares with soy this crop year, according to the Agriculture Ministry, short of the 20.6 million hectares dedicated to soy in the 2015/16 season.

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