Grain, Soybean Futures Start Week Lower

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Grain and soybean futures fell as harvest pressure and improving weather forecasts weighed down prices.

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Market participants expect Midwestern farmers to make rapid progress harvesting corn and soybeans this week, taking advantage of the best fieldwork weather so far this season. Forecasts show mostly clear conditions this week.

Meanwhile, rain is expected to return to the north of Brazil next week. That will allow farmers to start planting more of their soybeans, easing concerns about a difficult start to the country's planting season and increasing the likelihood of another big crop there.

The changing weather forecasts limited buying interest on Monday, particularly after corn and soybean prices rallied late last week due to a better-than-expected government crop production report.

Corn futures for December fell 0.6% to $3.50 1/2 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade. Corn prices have traded within a few cents of the $3.50 mark for much of the past month, tethered there as traders wait for more results from the ongoing harvest.

CBOT November soybean futures fell 0.9% to $9.91 a bushel. Analysts said the drop below $10 signaled to some traders that prices could head lower.

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Strong demand for soybeans has limited losses, though analysts say it may not be enough to keep pace with higher production. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that private exporters reported sales of 227,300 metric tons of oilseed to what it called unknown destinations for 2017-18.

Meanwhile, the National Oilseed Processors Association said that its members crushed 136.4 million bushels of soybeans in September, according to traders. That was slightly higher than average analyst estimates compiled by The Wall Street Journal and above the same time last year, though market participants said it wasn't high enough to spark buying interest in the futures market.

NOPA put September soyoil stocks at 1.302 billion pounds, slightly higher than pre-report estimates.

CBOT December wheat futures slid 0.7% to $4.36 1/2 a bushel.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 16, 2017 16:33 ET (20:33 GMT)