Soybean Futures Rise on Uncertain Weather Prospects

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Soybean futures reversed course on Tuesday to close higher as the outlook for this year's crop remained cloudy.

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A bout of unexpected rain across parts of the Midwest and Plains overnight, along with wetter forecasts for the coming weeks, initially prompted traders to take profits in grain-and-oilseed markets after gains on Monday.

But a lack of clarity over those longer-term forecasts eventually pushed some prices back up. Soybean and wheat futures closed higher, while corn contracts regained most of their losses.

"Bears remain wary of pressing this market to the downside amid the uncertainty," said Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist at brokerage INTL FCStone.

The weather troubles have already started to harm crops. The share of corn in good or excellent condition fell to 65% from 68% last week, while soybeans dropped to 62% from 64%. The proportion of good-or-excellent spring wheat is just shy of a 30-year low.

Analysts say much of the spring wheat crop is already beyond help. For corn, however, the coming weeks could be crucial in determining yields.

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The fallout from lower corn yields would be largely cushioned by enormous Brazilian production, said analyst Karl Setzer of MaxYield Cooperative. High prices on the U.S. cash market are already making exports from South America more competitive.

August-dated soybean futures at the Chicago Board of Trade rose 0.4% to $10.29 1/4 a bushel, while September wheat climbed 0.6% to $5.53 a bushel.

CBOT September corn futures fell 0.1% to $4.01 3/4 a bushel.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 11, 2017 15:45 ET (19:45 GMT)