Grain, Soybean Futures Drop Amid Bumper Harvest

By Jesse Newman Features Dow Jones Newswires

Grain and soybean futures slid Thursday, weighed down by reports of robust yields from U.S. farm fields.

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Prices for soybeans dropped for a third straight session, erasing gains posted earlier in the day as harvest pressure and global currency shifts outstripped optimism over strong export sales. The soybean market got a boost Thursday morning after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said net sales for the week ended Oct. 19 totaled 2.1 million metric tons, beating analyst expectations.

Still, reports of strong yields from the U.S. Farm Belt ultimately depressed prices for the oilseeds, as did declines in the Brazilian real. A weaker real encourages Brazilian farmers to sell their soybeans -- which compete with U.S. supplies -- on the export market. Analysts said U.S. export sales already are lagging behind last year's pace, with moves in the real likely to inspire even stiffer competition from South American farmers.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 4 1/4 cents, or 0.4%, to $9.71 1/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade.

Corn futures slipped, pressured by lower wheat prices and better-than-expected yield reports from the advancing harvest.

Although the U.S. corn harvest is running behind this year, analysts said farmers in the western Midwest have had a full week of dry weather, allowing combines to speed across fields.

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"The yield reports continue to be spectacular," said Charlie Sernatinger, head of grain trading at ED&F Man Capital, noting that in many cases, U.S. corn yields are topping last year's levels.

CBOT December corn futures shed 1/2 cent, or 0.1%, to $3.50 1/2 a bushel. December wheat sank 3 3/4 cents, or 0.9% to $4.31 3/4 a bushel.

Write to Jesse Newman at jesse.newman@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 26, 2017 15:47 ET (19:47 GMT)