Corn Futures End Month With Surge

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Corn futures jumped, climbing almost 4% to erase losses from the week so far.

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The market gained momentum as traders got out of short positions, analysts said, limiting their exposure ahead of the long weekend. September-dated corn contracts entered into their first notice day for physical grain delivery on Thursday.

Soybean and most wheat futures were also higher, as broader strength in commodities lifted agricultural markets. Crude oil and commodity indices rose on Thursday.

"Commodities are in vogue this morning," said Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist at INTL FCStone in Kansas City, Mo.

Thursday's session was a turnaround for a sector that has been under pressure since the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast a larger-than-expected domestic harvest on Aug. 10. Since then, a series of other private-sector and government crop reports have suggested that this year's harvest will be larger than thought earlier this growing season, when difficult weather dogged crops. Those extra supplies are expected to add to record global stockpiles.

Export demand for U.S. grain and oilseed also bolstered the market. Weekly export sales reported by the USDA on Thursday morning were at the high end of pre-report expectations. Private exporters sold 1.68 million metric tons of soybeans for 2016-17 and 2017-18 combined, above the upper range of estimates, while corn and wheat sales were also high.

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Lower-than-expected wheat, canola and soybean production in Canada, as reported by the government statistics agency on Thursday morning, also boosted the trade, analysts said.

September corn futures rose 3.9% to $3.42 1/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade, taking back four consecutive days of losses. That was the largest daily move in percentage terms this year.

CBOT September soybean contracts rose 1.4% to $9.36 1/4 a bushel while September wheat climbed 1.7% to $4.10 1/4 a bushel.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 31, 2017 15:12 ET (19:12 GMT)