Corn, Soybean Futures Turn Higher on Crop-Stress Concerns

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Corn and soybean futures extended gains amid ongoing concerns about difficult weather and crop conditions.

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Grain and oilseed prices were mostly lower overnight before reversing course. September corn futures rose 0.8% to $3.47 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade, while September soybean contracts climbed 0.4% to $9.64 1/2 a bushel. Wheat futures were mixed, with the September contract down 2% at $4.21 3/4 while later months rose.

Prices rose after the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed crop conditions steady to poorer in a report released late Tuesday, said Dave Marshall, a farm-marketing adviser at brokerage First Choice Commodities.

The USDA said corn quality dropped to 61% good or excellent from 62% a week earlier, while good-or-excellent soybean ratings were steady at 61%. That damped bets that improving crops were increasing the likelihood of a larger bounty this season.

Traders also weighed the risk that an early cold snap could freeze corn and soybean crops before they have matured. A late start to the growing season in some regions has left those crops particularly vulnerable to colder weather. Forecasters said dryness in the Midwest this week could stress soybeans.

Meanwhile, export demand for U.S. crops further supported prices. The USDA said that private exporters reported sales of over 250,000 metric tons of corn to Mexico for 2017-18. That added to sales, the agency announced on Tuesday.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 06, 2017 15:47 ET (19:47 GMT)