Corn, Soybean Futures Under Pressure From Crop Ratings

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Corn and soybean futures slid as government data showed better-than-average crop ratings.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the share of the corn crop in good-or-excellent condition as of Sunday was steady from a week earlier at 62%, while good-or-excellent soybeans rose to 61% from 60% a week earlier.

Analysts said those ratings were above average for this time of year. Though many are skeptical about their efficacy in predicting final crop yields, the ratings further buttressed the belief that crops have recovered from weather troubles earlier this growing season and are on track for a large bounty this year.

That was compounded when organizers of a Midwestern crop tour last week forecast record U.S. soybean production along with a bumper corn harvest.

"Fund managers are going to be apprehensive building long positions in the grains during this time of anxiety when they lack fundamental support to do so," said Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist at brokerage INTL FCStone.

Export demand for U.S. crops limited losses, however. The USDA said Tuesday that private exporters reported sales of 198,000 metric tons of soybeans to China for 2017-18 and 226,000 metric tons of corn to Mexico for 2017-18.

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September corn futures fell 0.7% to $3.33 1/2 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade, while September soybean contracts slid 0.5% to $9.30 3/4 a bushel.

Wheat futures were mixed. CBOT September Chicago soft-red wheat contracts closed 0.7% higher at $4.02 3/4 a bushel after falling at the opening.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 29, 2017 16:21 ET (20:21 GMT)