Soybean Futures Fall on Brazilian Rain

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Soybean futures started the week lower, giving back most of last week's gains as fieldwork conditions improved in Brazil.

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Wetter weather eased concerns about planting delays in the major South American producer, sparking bets that Brazilian farmers were on track for another year of large oilseed production. Slow planting progress, a result of dry soil conditions, had helped soybean prices higher last week.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 1.3% to $9.71 1/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade. Some analysts said a lack of follow through after a rally on Friday, which pushed prices above their 200-day moving average, was a sign of weak support for prices at those levels.

The Commodity Weather Group said on Monday that the rain would pass into Brazil's northern growing regions, allowing farmers to speed up their soybean and corn planting.

"Last year's rapid planting in Brazil was credited for the huge soybean yields across the country," Karl Setzer, an analyst at MaxYield Cooperative, said in a note to clients. "Trade immediately thinks that if planting is not as fast as a year ago, yields will be down. While this is possible, it is not a given."

Clear weather in the U.S. Midwest should allow farmers to make rapid planting progress, market participants said. Analysts expect the U.S. Department of Agriculture to show the rate of corn and soybean harvesting as of Sept. 24 to have more than doubled from a week earlier when it updates the market later Monday.

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Traders will also be watching for yield data from those farmers, allowing them to gauge the extent to which national totals are likely to match the USDA's recent forecast, which topped broader expectations. In its most recent figures, the agency put corn yield at 169.9 bushels per acre with soybeans yielding 49.9 bushels an acre.

Some analysts said uncertainty around the U.S. corn harvest limited moves in that market on Monday. CBOT December corn futures closed largely unchanged, up 0.1% at $3.53 3/4 a bushel. But others said there was little chance that yields would be low enough to encourage a significant price move higher.

"No matter where you believe the yield will finally end up, it is pretty clear that the U.S. is going to have excess supplies at harvest time," said Tomm Pfitzenmaier, founding partner at Summit Commodity Brokerage. "That fact is going to make it difficult for the corn market to sustain rallies into the end of the year."

CBOT December corn futures rose 1% to $4.54 a bushel.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 25, 2017 15:30 ET (19:30 GMT)