Grain, Soybean Futures Climb

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Grain and soybean futures rose on Thursday, buoyed by global demand for U.S. crops.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that exporters sold 1.27 million metric tons of corn in the week ended Oct. 12, at the high end of pre-report estimates. Wheat sales of 615,400 tons were above expectations.

Soybean sales of 1.28 million tons last week were underwhelming, analysts said, but the USDA separately reported that private exporters sold 384,000 metric tons to China for 2017-18.

In all, that helped prevent losses in agricultural markets recently pressured by oversupply. With countries like Russia and Brazil both producing bumper harvests this year, exports have been a particular point of concern for U.S. traders.

A lower dollar, which makes U.S. crops cheaper for global buyers, helped prices on Thursday.

Prices for crops did little more than tread water, however, staying within well defined trading ranges. December corn futures rose 0.1% to $3.49 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade while December wheat futures gained 0.6% to $4.32 3/4 a bushel. November soybean futures rose 0.2% to $9.86 1/2 a bushel.

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Analysts said trading patterns signaled that prices were unlikely to stray too far from those levels until U.S. harvest conditions changed, which could either slow fieldwork and the flow of crops into the market or allow it to gather pace.

Weekend rain should slow fieldwork in the western Midwest this week, said the Commodity Weather Group in a note to clients, with the potential for delays further east next week.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 19, 2017 16:27 ET (20:27 GMT)