Grain, Soybean Futures Fall on Harvest Progress

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Grain and soybean futures fell Tuesday as the U.S. harvest gathered pace.

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Mostly clear skies across the U.S. Midwest and Plains states this week should allow farmers to make rapid progress harvesting corn and soybeans, allowing them to catch up with recent years after rain delays earlier this season. Analysts say that will speed the flow of crops into the market and increase supplies, weighing down prices.

Soybean futures led losses through much of Tuesday's session. Rainfall forecast for next week in northern Brazil will allow farmers to speed their own oilseed planting. The season had started on a rocky note after excessive dryness delayed fieldwork. But the effects on production are likely limited, analysts said, with Brazilian farmers mostly expected to produce another bumper crop this year.

November soybean futures fell 0.6% to $9.84 3/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade.

Corn futures were mixed before closing lower. CBOT December contracts fell 0.1% to $3.50 a bushel.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the condition of the corn crop improved last week, rising by one percentage point to 65% good or excellent. A better-quality corn crop at this time of year suggests that yields could be at the high end of expectations, and the USDA last week increased its yield forecast.

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Export demand capped losses in the corn market, however. The agency said separately that private exporters reported sales of 115,000 metric tons of corn to Mexico and 146,000 tons to unknown destinations for 2017-18.

Analysts said exports of U.S. grain this season have generally been weak. A higher dollar on Tuesday added pressure, making those crops more expensive for importers.

CBOT December wheat futures fell 0.4% to $4.34 3/4 a bushel.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 17, 2017 15:08 ET (19:08 GMT)