- U.S. grain futures ended Friday’s session mostly higher, with soybean pricing rising amid ongoing indications of robust export demand for U.S. supplies.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, soybeans for March delivery rose 0.61% on Friday to settle the week at USD12.8600 a bushel by close of trade. Prices of the oilseed hit a session low of USD12.6340 a bushel earlier, the weakest level since January 2.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed private sales of 126,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China on Friday. That followed a weekly USDA export report on Thursday which showed soybean sales last week topped expectations.

Despite Friday’s gains, the March soybean contract lost 2.41% on the week after updated weather forecasts pointed to favorable conditions in key soy-growing regions in Argentina and Brazil.

Meanwhile, corn futures for March delivery inched up 0.12% on Friday to settle the week at USD4.2940 a bushel. On the week, the March corn contract added 1.25%.

The USDA on Thursday reported U.S. corn export sales last week at 693,200 tonnes, above expectations for 625,000 tonnes. The agency also reported private sales on Friday of 370,000 tonnes of old-crop corn to Japan, Egypt and Spain.

Elsewhere on the Chicago Board of Trade, wheat for March delivery fell 0.83% on Friday to settle the week at USD5.6520 a bushel, as traders locked in gains from the previous session’s strong rally.

Wheat prices jumped to USD5.7800 a bushel on Thursday, the highest since January 15, before trimming gains to settle at USD5.7000 a bushel, up 1.56%.

The March wheat contract ended the week with a modest increase of 0.31%, the first weekly advance in eight weeks, amid speculation cold temperatures in key wheat-growing states in the U.S. over the past week damaged crops.

Temperatures plunged to the single digits to below zero Fahrenheit across the northern Midwest and Great Plains region and colder conditions are expected next week, fuelling concerns over crop damage.

In the week ahead, market players will focus on the release of key weekly USDA data, including export sales figures on Thursday.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, government figures show. Wheat was fourth, behind hay.

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