Corn Rises, Soybeans Fall on Crop Switching Bets

By Julie Wernau Features Dow Jones Newswires

Corn futures rose while soybean futures slipped as wet weather in the corn belt led some market participants to place bets that farmers might switch acres from corn to soybeans ahead of upcoming insurance deadlines.

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CBOT corn for July was up 1.4% to close at $3.74 a bushel and soybeans for July lost 1.4% to end at $9.26 a bushel.

Wet weather in the northern U.S. has escalated fears in the market that weather could delay plantings or hurt yields.

"It is the consistent rains that has helped keep buying support in the market as crop conditions have been suffering. The crop needs some sun and drier weather," said Jack Scoville, vice president at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

MDA Weather Services said in a note that active rains in the Delta and Southeast would maintain abundant moisture for corn and soybeans.

However, dryness and warmth would continue to stress spring wheat in the northern plains. Limited rains in the western Midwest would favor soybean planting.

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Wheat futures rose 1.7% to end at $4.38 a bushel.

The U.S.Department of Agriculture has projected falling global supplies of corn from this season to the next, along with a reduction in global soybean stocks. Analysts said that bodes well for grain and oilseed futures longer term.

But Chris Lehner, a broker and consultant at Archer Financial Services, said weather hiccups won't be enough to counter staggering stockpiles of corn around the world.

"The South American crop is huge, and we're going to see some price deterioration because of the old crop," he said.

Indeed, a poor weekly report of sales and exports of corn overseas didn't bode well for those marketing sales of the old crops. Net new sales of 457,200 metric tons were 33% below the four week average and near a marketing year low made two weeks ago. Societe Generale said that total sales and shipments stand at 53.26 million tons versus 41.82 million tons last year, compared with USDA projections for 2016/2017 of 56.52 million tons.

Write to Julie Wernau at julie.wernau@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 26, 2017 15:20 ET (19:20 GMT)