Grain, Soybean Futures Fall on Commodity Weakness

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Grain and soybean futures fell amid pressure on commodities more broadly and ongoing U.S. harvest progress.

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Crude oil prices were lower on Monday as money flowed out of the commodity sector, making grain and oilseed-based biofuels less competitive. A higher dollar also made U.S. crops more expensive for global buyers. The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of other currencies, rose 0.4% to 86.63.

Meanwhile, the ongoing corn and soybean harvest across the U.S. is further eroding prices. Traders are betting that final yields will come closer than expected to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's most recent estimates, which many initially said were too high.

The USDA said late last week that corn and soybean stocks on Sept. 1 rose less than expected from a year earlier. That gave those markets a boost on Friday, only for traders to undo those gains on Monday.

"Corn and soybean stocks were notably smaller than expected, but not significantly enough so to go against the tide," said Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist at INTL FCStone Inc., in a note to clients.

Corn futures for December delivery fell 1.1% to $3.51 1/2 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade. November soybean contracts slid 1.1% to $9.57 1/4 a bushel.

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The USDA will update traders on U.S. fieldwork at 4 p.m. EDT on Monday. Analysts expect farmers to have harvested a fifth or more of both the corn and soybean crops.

Wheat futures also fell Monday after the agency said on Friday that American farmers produced more grain than expected in their most-recent harvest. That was in part a consequence of a surprise recovery in production of spring wheat, after key growing regions in the northern Plains were hit by a severe drought.

December spring wheat futures at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange fell 2% to $6.11 1/2 a bushel. CBOT December Chicago winter wheat futures fell 0.8% to $4.44 3/4 a bushel.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 02, 2017 15:43 ET (19:43 GMT)