Grain, Soybean Futures Rise; Traders Watch Argentina Weather

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Grain and soybean futures ended the week with a bounce.

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Analysts said that traders had exhausted reasons to sell this week, prompting a correction on Friday.

"Trade needs more negative news to drive the market lower," said Karl Setzer, an analyst at MaxYield Cooperative. "This may be hard to accomplish at the present time."

In particular, speculative players like hedge funds are already holding large overall short positions in corn and wheat markets, leaving little room for further selling without new indications of real-world factors to drive prices lower.

Meanwhile, soybean traders were increasingly concerned with dry weather in Argentina, a major crop producer. The Commodity Weather Group said that the center of the country would continue to dry out for the remainder of the month, stressing around half of the country's corn and soybeans.

That helped create buying interest in the soybean market on Friday. January oilseed contracts rose 1.9% to $9.90 1/2 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade.

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Further north in Brazil, however, wetter weather is allaying concerns about the condition of the crops. Rainfall is expected to pick up as Brazil heads into its most important growing period for soybeans later this year, said Ana Luiza Lodi, a Brazil-based grain-and-oilseed analyst at INTL FCStone Inc.

"At least for now, we're not seeing any threats from the weather," Ms. Lodi said.

CBOT December corn futures rose 1.9% to $3.43 a bushel, while December wheat climbed 1.4% to $4.27 1/4 a bushel.

The U.S. dollar fell on Friday, helping make U.S. crops cheaper for global buyers, while higher crude oil futures attracted speculative players to agricultural commodity markets.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 17, 2017 15:45 ET (20:45 GMT)