Grain, Soybean Futures Turn Higher

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Grain and soybean futures rose for this first time this week as traders weighed the impact of recent weather forecasts on this year's crops.

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Through much of July traders were gearing up for reduced corn and soybean yields, as dry and hot weather prompted what many considered the most difficult start to a growing season in years. A turn for the better in the outlook this week as rainfall and cooler temperatures spread across the Corn Belt prompted heavy selling, but analysts said growing problems were likely to persist.

More rainfall going into August should help the soybean crop, they said, but damage has already been done to corn as it goes through key development phases earlier. Meanwhile, dry patches in parts of the western Midwest and northern Plains, where the spring wheat crop is grown, are likely to continue stressing crops there.

"Those little puddles of moisture need to become more consistent if they are to provide any lasting relief," said Dan Hueber, general manager of the Hueber Report. "One has to suspect that for the earliest planted crops, we have already moved beyond the point of improving yields. The best that could be hoped for would be to sustain."

That encouraged prices to stabilize and tick higher on Wednesday, particularly after heavy fund-driven selling on Monday and Tuesday.

Spring wheat futures led gains as scouts on a tour in the northern Plains reported a dire outlook for the crop there. September-dated contracts rose 1.7% to $7.30 a pound at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange.

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CBOT September corn futures rose 1.1% to $3.72 3/4 a bushel while August soybeans climbed 0.7% to $9.88 3/4 a bushel. September wheat gained 0.8% to $4.77 3/4 a bushel.

Crude oil futures were also higher on Wednesday, aiding broader money flow into commodity markets.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 26, 2017 15:41 ET (19:41 GMT)