Soybean, Corn Futures End Week With Rally

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Soybean and corn futures bounced Friday on strong export demand and a weaker dollar.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that private exporters sold 190,000 metric tons of soybeans to Mexico for 2017-18, capping off a week of bumper export sales of American oilseed. Sales this week were on a near-record pace, said Arlan Suderman of INTL FCStone Inc.

A lower dollar also prompted bets that cheaper U.S. crops would continue to attract international demand. The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. dollar against a basket of currencies, fell 0.13% to 85.50 on Friday afternoon after hitting a low of 85.31 in the early morning.

That helped push soybean futures just short of an eight-week high. Analysts said they passed through various technical resistance points, including the 200-day moving average near $9.785 a bushel. November contracts closed 1.4% higher at $9.84 1/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade.

Corn futures also rose, helped higher by hedge-fund interest in the soybean rally, analysts said. CBOT December corn contracts rose 0.9% to $3.53 1/2 a bushel. December wheat futures fell 0.7% to $4.49 1/2 a bushel.

Early harvest data is expected to ramp up next week. Traders will be looking to yields from Midwestern farms for indications of whether production is on track to meet the USDA's larger-than-expected forecasts. Analysts have said considerable variability in results so far, after an erratic growing season, could complicate that.

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Export demand this week eased, if only temporarily, concerns about bumper production, however.

The string of soybean sales "have all combined to remind the trade that supply is only half of the equation," said Dan Hueber, general manager at the Hueber Report.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 22, 2017 15:22 ET (19:22 GMT)