Grain, Soybean Futures Selloff Continues

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Grain and soybean futures extended losses as traders soured on the near-term price outlook for the crops.

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Soybean futures initially rose overnight after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the share of the U.S. oilseed crop in good-or-excellent condition fell to 57%, down an unexpected 4% from a week earlier.

The reversal came as weather forecasts, which had concerned traders for much of July, appeared to take a turn for the better. Dryness may continue in as much as 25% of corn-and-soybean growing regions, the Commodity Weather Group said, but less hot and dry weather should prevent serious yield loss.

That had traders scaling back bets prices would rise, particularly after regulatory data Friday showed increasing net long positions held by money managers in corn-and-soybean markets.

"Bottom line is that while the market has plenty of supportive news, it does not have enough to instigate another leg up in futures," said Karl Setzer, an analyst at MaxYield Cooperative.

August-dated soybean futures at the Chicago Board of Trade fell 1.6% to $9.81 1/2 a bushel. CBOT September corn contracts fell 2.3% to $3.68 3/4 a bushel.

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Wheat futures led losses, with multiple varieties tracking fresh lows for the month. CBOT September wheat contracts fell 3% to $4.74 a bushel, while September spring wheat contracts from the Minneapolis Grain Exchange dropped 4.4% to $7.17 1/2 a bushel.

Large swathes of the Northern Plains-grown spring wheat crop is under threat from drought. The Commodity Weather Group said that some rain should help the early harvest, though many analysts say portions of the crop are now beyond help.

The USDA said Monday that 33% of spring wheat was in good-or-excellent condition, down 1% from a week earlier.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 25, 2017 16:07 ET (20:07 GMT)