Grain, Soybean Futures Drift Lower

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Grain and soybean futures gave back early gains to close slightly lower on Tuesday.

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Traders were reluctant to take positions ahead of new government crop forecasts due Thursday, analysts said. Those estimates are expected to bolster further the view that the U.S. is on track for another large corn and soybean harvest.

"No one will be too likely to stick their neck out ahead of the report," said Doug Bergman, head of agricultural trading at RCM Alternatives.

Crop futures initially rose in Tuesday's session. A rally in crude oil futures and other commodities helped attract buyers to the grain and oilseed markets, while a lower dollar helped make U.S. crops more attractive to global buyers. The WSJ Dollar Index fell 0.4% to 86.60.

But prices retreated from those early gains. December corn futures closed 0.1% lower at $3.49 1/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade. November soybean futures fell 0.1% to $9.66 a bushel while December wheat contracts slid 0.2% to $4.35 1/4 a bushel.

The USDA will also update market participants on U.S. harvest progress at 4 p.m. EDT. Analysts on average expect farmers to have harvested 27% of corn, up from 17% a week earlier, along with 39% of soybeans, up from 22%.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 10, 2017 15:56 ET (19:56 GMT)