Corn Futures Tumble; Soybeans Mixed on Exports, Biodiesel

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Corn futures sunk to fresh lows on better-than-expected field reports from Midwestern crop scouts.

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Scouts in the Farm Journal Midwestern crop tour forecast a corn yield of 171.23 bushels per acre for Indiana and 165.42 in Nebraska on Tuesday, both above the three-year average for those states.

Corn-yield forecasts for the tour have so far been higher than what many analysts were expecting. After the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast an above-expectation yield of 169.5 bushels per acre nationally earlier this month, many traders were looking to crop scouts to uncover problems that would suggest the crop would be considerably smaller. There is limited evidence of that up until this point, they say.

Corn futures for September delivery fell 1.2% to $3.42 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade on Wednesday, closing at the lowest point since early December.

Soybean and soybean-oil futures bounced after the Commerce Department ruled that Argentina and Indonesia subsidize their biodiesel industries, slapping preliminary duties on imports to the U.S. CBOT September soybean-oil futures ended Wednesday 1.9% higher at 34.72 cents a pound.

Soybean contracts eased off those gains, however, after the USDA said that private exporters reported cancellations of more than 600,000 metric tons of soybean sales to China for 2016-17. Analysts said that was worrying for U.S. producers who depend on business from China to absorb growing supplies of the oilseed.

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The agency also said that exporters sold near 300,000 tons of soybeans to unknown destinations for 2016-17 and 2017-18.

CBOT September soybean futures closed 0.1% higher at $9.35 a bushel. September wheat futures rose 0.3% to $4.03 1/4 a bushel.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 23, 2017 15:38 ET (19:38 GMT)