Corn Futures Sink on Profit Taking

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Improving weather forecasts sparked a selloff in corn futures, as traders took profits ahead of the weekend.

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An overnight bout of rain in Midwestern states such as Iowa, combined with a wetter outlook for the remainder of the month, eased some concerns about the lack of moisture and subsequent yield loss in corn plants.

Corn futures for September delivery fell 2.9%, to $3.79 3/4 a bushel, at the Chicago Board of Trade, erasing two days of weather-related gains and increasing selling pressure on other grain-and-oilseed contracts.

"We had a pretty good run this week. Anybody that bought and is looking at the less threatening forecast is probably selling," said Doug Bergman, head of the agricultural trading desk at RCM Alternatives in Chicago. "A cooler weather outlook would definitely be welcomed by everyone that's trying to raise corn."

A second day of falling crude oil prices, meanwhile, added to the pressure on grain-and-oilseed markets as money flowed out of the commodity sector.

Contracts for soybeans, which can compete with crude oil as a fuel source, also fell. CBOT August oilseed futures dropped 0.4%, to $10.09 a bushel.

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The erratic weather that has dogged the Midwest through much of July should have less of an impact on the soybean crop, analysts say, which hasn't entered its critical yield-forming phase yet.

"Beans are a little more forgiving than corn," said Mr. Bergman. "There is quite a lot of time."

Wheat futures also fell, ending the week lower on a correction from an early July rally. CBOT September contracts fell 1.3%, to $4.99 1/4 a bushel.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 21, 2017 15:21 ET (19:21 GMT)