- U.S. corn futures fell sharply on Friday to hit a more than one-week low after agricultural meteorologists predicted more favorable conditions for U.S. plantings in the coming week.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, U.S. corn for July delivery tumbled 1.48%, or 7.4 cents, on Friday to close the week at $4.9940 a bushel. Corn fell to a daily low of $4.9760 a bushel earlier in the day, the weakest level since April 23.

On the week, the July corn contract lost 2.57%, or 13.2 cents, the worst weekly decline in six months.

Corn rallied to $5.2200 a bushel on April 29 after the USDA said that only 19% of the U.S. corn crop was planted as of last week. The five-year average for this time of year is 28%.

But prices came off the highs as investors sold contracts to lock in gains and after updated weather forecasting models pointed to mostly warm and dry conditions in the U.S. Midwest, which should aid planting prospects.

Meanwhile, U.S. soybeans for July delivery rose 0.67%, or 9.6 cents, on Friday to settle the week at $14.7060 a bushel by close of trade, as a round of bargain-buying kicked in after prices fell to a four-week low of $14.5100 a bushel earlier in the session.

Despite Friday’s gain, the July soybean contract lost 1.57%, or 23.6 cents on the week, the second consecutive weekly drop.

Prices of the oilseed plunged 3.42% on Thursday as forecasts of improved weather in the U.S. Midwest prompted investors to book profits.

Elsewhere on the Chicago Board of Trade, U.S. wheat for July delivery rallied 1.24%, or 8.6 cents, on Friday to settle the week at $7.0820 a bushel, after Informa Economics reduced its U.S. winter wheat crop estimate by 120 million bushels to 1.496 billion bushels.

The July wheat contract ended the week with a gain of 1.08%, or 7.8 cents, the third straight weekly advance.

Prices of the grain hit a 12-month high of $7.2460 a bushel on April 30 amid growing fears over dismal crop conditions in the U.S. Great Plains region and as escalating violence in Ukraine underlined concerns over a disruption to global supplies.

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

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

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