Grain, Soybean Futures Slide; Oilseed Crush Falls in April

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Grain and soybean futures fell on Thursday as weather forecasts improved, while a government report showed a lower oilseed crush rate in April.

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U.S. processors crushed 150 million bushels of soybeans for oil in April, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said after the markets closed. That's down from 160 million bushels in March.

The lower crush rate exacerbated concerns about sliding demand for U.S. soybeans at a time when South American farmers sell their own enormous harvest and Chinese oilseed crush margins shrink.

Recent weather disruption to Midwestern corn planting also prompted traders to bet that American farmers might expand their already record soybean acreage, though forecasts for drier and warmer weather next week eased some of those concerns.

Soybean futures for July delivery slid 0.4% to a fresh low of $9.12 1/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade on Thursday, the lowest close since April 7 2016.

"The bears continue to have their way with soybeans," said Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist at brokerage INTL FCStone in Kansas City, Mo.

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Corn futures also fell on the improving weather forecasts. Prices rallied to the upper end of a recent trading range on Wednesday on worse-than-expected crop quality data, though the prospect of more sunshine over the Midwestern Corn Belt eased some of those worries.

CBOT July corn futures fell back 0.4% to $3.70 1/2 a bushel on Thursday.

Chicago soft red winter wheat futures for July delivery slid 0.1% to $4.29 a bushel. Minneapolis spring wheat contracts, however, have rallied recently, helped by lower-than-expected protein content in Plains hard red winter wheat crop.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 01, 2017 16:00 ET (20:00 GMT)