Grain Futures Bounce on Upcoming Rain

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Grain futures rose on Wednesday as wet forecasts renewed concerns about this year's crops.

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Corn and wheat futures oscillated in recent days as rainfall eased, soothing worries about planting delays and crop damage. But changing forecasts showed moisture building over much of the Midwest and Plains through the weekend and parts of next week.

"Weather is front and center, as it should be this time of the year," said Dan Cekander of DC Analysis, adding that the rains could start to pose risks to both the ongoing corn planting and the emerging wheat crop.

The winter wheat crop rated in good or excellent condition declined to 51% from 53% last week, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, after being battered by late-season snowfall a few weeks ago. That's down from 62% the same time last year.

While controversy in Washington, D.C., roiled a number of markets, grain futures rose on a weaker dollar. The greenback is currently trading at its lowest point this year.

That could boost U.S. grain and soybean exports, said Jerry Gidel, a grain strategist at Price Futures Group, particularly as Brazil's relatively strong currency makes its abundant corn and soybean output look expensive in comparison.

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Corn futures for July delivery closed 1% higher at $3.71 1/2 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade, while wheat futures rose 0.7% to $4.27 a bushel.

Soybean futures, however, turned lower after two days of gains. CBOT July oilseed contracts closed 0.1% lower at $9.75 3/4 a bushel.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 17, 2017 15:57 ET (19:57 GMT)