Corn Futures Leap; Wheat and Soybeans Mixed

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Corn futures bounced on Wednesday as a government report showed the quality of crops this year was worse than expected.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday afternoon that 65% of this year's corn crop was in good or excellent condition, ??below expectations?. Last year, ??72% ?of the crop fell into that category.

The new data helped send futures ?higher on Wednesday as traders bet that an erratic start to the planting season could reduce final corn crop yield?s.

Corn futures for July delivery rose 1.4% to $3.72 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade.

But analysts said there wasn't enough correlation between initial quality reports and yield to push futures out of a current tight trading band. Corn futures were on track to end the month with the narrowest range in 11 years, said Joel Karlin, an economist at Western Milling in Goshen, Calif. Weather conditions throughout the growing season could alter the outlook for the crop.

"You throw some sun on this corn crop and these plants will look a lot better," Mr. Karlin said.

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Soybean and wheat futures were mixed as broader selling in the commodity market weighed on those contracts. Crude oil futures fell sharply as traders continued to undo a May rally.

Falling Chinese crush margins of imported soybeans also pressured oilseed futures, as traders bet that the country may curtail imports.

"They've got a little indigestion in the amount of soybeans they've imported," said Dan Basse, president of research firm AgResource Co. in Chicago.

CBOT July soybean futures closed 0.4% higher at $9.16 a bushel. Wheat fell 0.1% to $4.29 1/4.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 31, 2017 15:17 ET (19:17 GMT)