Chicago soybean and corn futures stabilized on Friday as the focus remained on weather forecasts for the U.S. Midwest with price volatility this week driven by changes in the outlook for the key growing region.
Prices rose sharply earlier this week on forecasts for an extended period of scorching temperatures but then plunged on Thursday as the weather outlook was revised and became less threatening to crops.
The Chicago Board of Trade most-active soybean contract was up 0.1 percent at $10.63-1/4 at 1109 GMT. The contract had risen as high as $11.23 on Thursday before dropping back with the change in the weather forecast.
"The soybeans market has come under pressure and that can change again," said Ole Houe, an analyst with brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney.
"The market will be volatile, we see a 110 cents trading range in soybeans and 50 cents in corn. It will go on for a month or so."
Lower production in South America, particularly Argentina, have heightened the importance of this year's U.S. soybean crop.
"With a tight balance sheet following crop losses in South America, a big U.S. harvest is needed. Any yield loss will cause a further tightness in supply," said Jonathan Lane, trading director with UK merchant Gleadell.
The CBOT's most-active corn contract was off 0.5 percent at $3.62-3/4 a bushel.
A better than expected export report from the U.S. Agriculture Department on Thursday morning limited the sell-off in corn.
The USDA said old-crop export sales of corn came in at 667,800 tonnes last week and new-crop export sales were 687,800 tonnes. Both figures topped the high ends of a range of market forecasts.
Dealers said the comparative stability was likely to prove short-lived as the market waits for meteorologists to update their forecasts.
"The market seems to be at the mercy of the weather models, so volatility is likely to continue," said analyst Madeleine Donlan of Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
Wheat prices were little changed with CBOT's most-active contract up a marginal 0.2 percent at $4.35 per bushel while December wheat in Paris fell 0.15 percent to 163.00 euros a tonne.