Grain, Soybean Futures Mixed on Dollar Strength

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Grain and soybean futures were mixed on Thursday, closing largely unchanged amid pressure from a stronger dollar.

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The greenback popped on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve signaled it could raise interest rates again this year and said it would start shrinking its portfolio of bonds.

The higher dollar, which makes U.S. crops more expensive relative to global competitors, weighed down grain and soybean futures late Wednesday and Thursday morning. Prices eventually steadied as money flowed back into the commodity sector, with crude oil futures easing off overnight lows.

Strong export demand for U.S. crops also helped push those markets higher. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that exporters sold 2.34 million metric tons of soybeans in the week ended Sept. 14. That was well above the high end of analyst expectations at 1.6 million tons.

Analysts said that was further evidence of the robust appetite for American soybeans, particularly from China, that could help to offset an expected increase in production this year.

Wheat export sales of 307,200 tons and 526,900 tons of corn were within the range of expectations.

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Soybean futures for November delivery closed 0.1% higher at $9.70 3/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade. CBOT December corn futures also gained 0.1% to $3.50 1/4 a bushel, while December wheat climbed 0.6% to $4.52 1/2 a bushel.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 21, 2017 15:46 ET (19:46 GMT)