Grain, Soybean Futures Rise on Bumper Oilseed Sale

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Grain and soybean futures rose Wednesday on robust export demand and support from other commodity markets.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Wednesday morning that private exporters reported a sale of 1.08 million metric tons of soybeans to unknown destinations, with 960,000 tons for delivery in 2017-18 and the remainder in 2018-19. Exporters sold a further 132,000 tons of oilseed to China, the agency said.

That was the sixth-largest soybean sale for the day on record, said Doug Bergman, head of agricultural trading at RCM Alternatives in Chicago. The positive follow-through from oilseed traders was limited, however, with prices closing below their initial highs.

"The market hasn't been too impressed," Mr. Bergman said.

Soybean futures have traded within a tight price range over the past week, with export demand unable to overcome concerns about the size of the U.S. crop. Traders are closely watching yield data from early harvest activity to see whether the oilseed crop will meet the USDA's larger-than-expected forecast. Reports so far are mixed.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose 0.5%, to $9.70 a bushel, at the Chicago Board of Trade.

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The grain markets got a boost from a number of outside factors. Other commodities like crude oil also rose on Wednesday, attracting investors to agricultural markets.

The dollar fell during most of Wednesday's session, helping to make U.S. crop exports more competitive. Analysts said the weaker greenback benefited wheat futures in particular, which have fallen sharply from their peak earlier this summer. That is helping to make them more attractive to international buyers.

CBOT December corn futures rose 0.5%, to $3.50 a bushel, while December wheat contracts climbed 1.5%, to $4.49 3/4 a bushel.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 20, 2017 15:10 ET (19:10 GMT)