Soybean Futures Drop Despite Above-Expectation Crush Rate

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Soybean futures fell on Friday as traders locked in profits ahead of the weekend, while grain prices rose.

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Oilseed contracts rallied on Wednesday and Thursday, but analysts said an uptick in harvest activity over the coming days would likely weigh down prices. The U.S. Department of Agriculture earlier this week increased its estimates for soybean production this year.

"My money is on seeing harvest pressure start to pick up next week and take us down for the rest of the month," said Charlie Sernatinger, head of grain trading at ED&F Man Capital.

A report from the National Oilseed Processors Association showing better-than-expected demand gave the soybean market a boost on Friday, but prices eventually fell. November soybean futures at the Chicago Board of Trade closed 0.7% lower at $9.68 3/4 a bushel.

NOPA said its members crushed 142.4 million bushels of soybeans in August, well above average analyst estimates of 136 million bushels. The crush rate was bullish, said Terry Reilly of Futures International.

Stocks of soyoil in August were slightly above expectations at 1.4 billion pounds, NOPA said.

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Grain futures were higher, meanwhile. CBOT December corn futures rose 0.1% to $3.54 3/4 a bushel while December wheat climbed 1.4% to $4.49 a bushel.

Traders are increasingly looking to weather troubles in South America for early signs this year's crop season there may get off to a difficult start.

Brazilian corn and soybean planting will be delayed by dryness for the next three weeks, said Commodity Weather Group, while rain in Argentina will slow corn seeding and leave wheat too wet.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 15, 2017 15:42 ET (19:42 GMT)