Soybeans Rise on Good Demand, Yield Concerns

By Jesse Newman Features Dow Jones Newswires

Soybean futures gained to a near three-week high Thursday as solid demand and expectations for smaller crop yields boosted the market. Corn and wheat also rose.

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Prices for the oilseeds drew strength from weekly export sales data showing net soybean sales for the week ended Oct. 26 totaled almost two million metric tons, which topped some analyst expectations. That's good news for U.S. soybeans, which face growing competition in the global marketplace from other big producers, like Brazil.

Expectations that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will trim its estimate for soybean yields in a monthly report next week also supported the market. Farmers have been reporting smaller yields as the U.S. harvest nears its end, and private forecaster Informa Economics on Thursday shaved its forecast for the oilseed yields.

Soybeans for November delivery rose eight cents, or 0.8%, to $9.89 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade, the highest closing price since Oct. 16.

Meanwhile, corn prices got a lift from signs of improving demand. The USDA in a daily announcement said private exporters had sold 1.4 million metric tons of corn to Mexico for delivery in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 crop years. The sale comes as corn exports this year are projected to be down significantly from last year's levels, thanks in part to bumper South American crops that are generating stiff competition to U.S. grain.

Gains in the corn market were capped by reports of better-than-expected yields coming from U.S. fields during the advancing U.S. harvest.

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CBOT December corn climbed 2 1/4 cents, or 0.7%, to $3.50 1/2 a bushel.

Wheat rose, snapping a six-day stretch of losses. December contracts advanced eight cents, or 1.9%, to $4.26 a bushel.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 02, 2017 17:02 ET (21:02 GMT)