- U.S. wheat prices fell sharply on Friday to move further away from an 11-month high, as investors cashed out of the market to lock in gains from a recent rally.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, wheat for May delivery dropped 1.49%, or 10.4 cents, on Friday to settle the week at $6.8720 a bushel.

Despite Friday’s losses, the May wheat contract ended the week with a gain of 0.86%, or 6.0 cents, the third consecutive weekly advance. Wheat futures have risen nearly 13% in March.

Prices of the grain surged to $7.2340 a bushel on Thursday, the most since May 10, as mounting concerns over the health of the U.S. winter-wheat crop lifted prices.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, approximately 34% of the Kansas wheat crop was rated in good to excellent condition as of last week, down from 37% a week earlier. Kansas is the largest wheat producing state in the U.S.

Meanwhile, soybeans for May delivery plunged 1.74%, or 25.0 cents, on Friday to close the week at $13.8840 a bushel, as investors booked profits from gains made earlier in the week.

Prices of the oilseed rallied to a two-week high of $14.5640 a bushel on Thursday.

The May soybean contract rose 1.43%, or 20.2 cents, on the week amid indications of robust demand for U.S. supplies.

Elsewhere on the Chicago Board of Trade, corn futures for May delivery inched up 0.1% to settle at $4.7900 a bushel by close of trade on Friday.

On the week, the May corn contract declined 1.44%, or 7 cents, the second consecutive weekly loss.

In the week ahead, market players will focus on the release of key USDA data, including weekly 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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