Investing.com - U.S. grain prices soared on Friday, as a combination of a broadly weaker U.S. dollar, indications of strong export demand and concerns over a disruption to supplies from Ukraine lifted prices.
Agricultural commodities received a boost from a slumping U.S. dollar, as dollar-priced commodities become cheaper to investors holding other currencies when the greenback weakens.
The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of six other major currencies, fell 0.6% on Friday to close the week at 79.81, the lowest level since December 18.
Meanwhile, market players continued to monitor rising tensions in Ukraine, one of the world''s largest corn and wheat exporters, following reports that armed men had occupied airports in the pro-Russia Crimea region.
A disruption to supplies in Ukraine could mean increased demand for U.S. supplies.
On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, corn futures for May delivery rose to a session high of $4.6500 a bushel on Friday, the most since September 17. Corn prices eventually settled 1.98% higher to end the week at $4.6340 a bushel.
On the week, the May corn contract picked up 2.24%, the sixth consecutive weekly gain.
For the month, corn prices jumped 6.29%, amid ongoing indications of robust export demand for U.S. supplies.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported sales of 101,600 tonnes of the grain to unknown destinations for shipment during the 2013-14 marketing year on Friday.
Elsewhere on the Chicago Board of Trade, wheat for May delivery rallied 2.21% on Friday to settle the week at $6.0220 a bushel.
The May wheat contract ended the week with a loss of 1.21%, the first weekly decline in four weeks.
Despite the weekly drop, wheat prices still ended February with an increase of 7.83%, amid concern freezing temperatures in key wheat-growing states in the U.S. will curb output and damage the quality of the harvest.
Meanwhile, soybeans for May delivery advanced 1.72% on Friday to end the week at $14.1400 a bushel.
The May contract surged to $14.4540 a bushel on Thursday, the most since July 23, before erasing gains to settle at $13.9000 a bushel, down 0.5%.
The March soybean contract added 3.06% on the week. For the month, prices of the oilseed rallied 9.2% as hot and dry conditions in key soy-growing regions in Brazil and Argentina fuelled concerns over crop prospects.
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.