Corn and Soybean Futures Steady Despite Weather Pressure

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Corn and soybean futures recovered Wednesday after sharp losses earlier this week.

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Improving planting conditions, lower-than-expected soybean crush rates and the continued specter of bumper South American harvests have pressured prices this week.

But current levels found some support in Wednesday's session as traders checked bets prices would fall.

May soybean futures rose 0.5% to $9.50 1/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade, while corn futures closed unchanged at $3.61 3/4 a bushel.

U.S. farmers are planting this year's corn crop slower than usual as wet weather delays fieldwork. Mixed forecasts in the coming weeks, however, are likely to create more openings and allow them to increase the rate of planting.

Even if corn acreage ends up below year-ago levels, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts, analysts say stockpiles are large enough to offset any decrease in production.

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Without significant weather issues, the broader outlook of big supplies weighing on prices will be the new normal, said Dan Hueber, manager of advisory firm the Hueber Report.

"An overdue weather issue should send prices racing higher for a time," he said, "but extended moves are probably not in the cards for the some time to come."

External influences didn't help the market. Crude-oil prices fell over 3% while the dollar rose.

Wheat futures fell, undoing a small recovery Tuesday. With acreage lower this year, analysts say demand may be able to start eating into stocks in the near future.

CBOT May wheat futures fell 0.8% to $4.19 a bushel.

Write to Benjamin Parkin at benjamin.parkin@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 19, 2017 16:06 ET (20:06 GMT)