Grain, Soybean Futures Fall on Yield Concerns

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Grain and soybean futures fell on broader losses in the commodity sector and early indications of another bumper harvest on the way.

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Early soybean harvest yields from states like Iowa were as high as 70 bushels an acre, said Karl Setzer, an analyst at MaxYield Cooperative, suggesting that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's most recent national forecast of 49.9 bushels an acre might not have been as ambitious as many initially thought.

But some analysts disputed the record high pod weights that underpin the agency's estimates, along with the high ear weights used for the corn yield forecast.

"There continues to be widespread doubts that this is the case," Joel Karlin, an economist at grain miller Western Milling, said in a note to clients. "That does not square with the generally dry conditions seen in Plains and Western Corn Belt in July and the Eastern Corn Belt in August."

Analysts said broader money flows out of the commodity sector, as prices for crude oil and other natural resources fell, limited buying interest in grain and soybean markets on Tuesday.

Soybean futures for November delivery at the Chicago Board of Trade fell 0.2% to $9.65 1/2 a bushel. CBOT December corn futures fell 0.9% to $3.48 1/4 a bushel.

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Wheat futures were mixed. The front-month December contract fell 0.1% to $4.43 a bushel, while later months rose.

Traders said that Egypt's commodity authority bought 175,000 metric tons of Russian wheat on Tuesday. Despite a steep markdown in Chicago wheat prices since early July, U.S. exporters have struggled to compete for business from Egypt, the world's largest importer, as other countries continue to offer lower-priced grain.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 19, 2017 15:27 ET (19:27 GMT)