Grain, Soybean Futures Fall on Demand Pressure

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Grain and soybean futures were steady to lower on Wednesday.

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A combination of improving South American planting conditions, good U.S. harvest weather and large stockpiles are limiting buying interest, said brokerage Allendale Inc. in a note to clients. A higher U.S. dollar, which makes American crop exports more expensive, added pressure.

Analysts said the path of least resistance for crop prices was lower, with traders waiting for signs of additional demand. Lower prices were necessary to attract global buyers and spur exports, some said, stressing that demand for grains in particular has been underwhelming.

"Unfortunately the easiest way for the U.S. to stay competitive in the global corn market is with lower values," said Karl Setzer, an analyst at MaxYield Cooperative. "It will take further price erosion to draw in fresh business."

Soybean sales, though high this year, will need to continue at elevated levels to offset larger production.

A rally last week in the soybean market may have pushed prices to levels that repel all-important Chinese importers, said research firm AgResource Co.

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"We doubt that Chinese buyers are willing to chase the market higher," the firm said in a note.

Meanwhile, trade group U.S. Wheat Associates said Tuesday it would close its office in Egypt, the world's largest importer. The U.S. has struggled to compete with producers such as Russia in exporting grain to the country in recent years.

U.S. Wheat Associates President Vince Peterson said in a statement that growing supplies of cheaper Russian wheat changed market dynamics in the region.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 0.1% to $9.84 1/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade.

CBOT December corn futures fell 0.4% to $3.48 1/2 a bushel. December wheat futures slid 1.1% to $4.30 a bushel.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 18, 2017 17:01 ET (21:01 GMT)