Grain, Soybean Futures Mixed on Outside Markets

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Falling crude oil prices and a higher U.S. dollar pressured soybean futures, taking money out of the commodity sector and making American exports more expensive.

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Oilseed contracts traded lower for much of Monday's session before closing little changed. January soybean futures fell 0.1% to $9.90 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade.

Dan Hueber, general manager of the Hueber Report, said that the January contract had been largely flat since mid-2016, often closing near the $9.90 mark.

"We're just stuck in the middle," Mr. Hueber said.

Traders, gearing up for a quiet week ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, said there was little else to spark larger moves in the soybean market.

Updated forecasts for wetter weather in Argentina next week eased concerns about building dryness in the region. But the Commodity Weather Group said that lingering patches of dryness will continue to stress corn and soybean crops.

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Traders are looking for signs that a La Nina weather system, which typically casuses dryness in Brazil and Argentina, is developing. That could threaten South American crops and support prices.

The selloff in crude oil prices and a higher dollar also weighed down wheat futures. U.S. wheat exporters are struggling to compete against cheaper competitors in countries like Russia, and analysts say wheat prices are particularly vulnerable to currency swings.

CBOT December wheat futures fell 1.3% to $4.22 a bushel.

Corn futures turned higher on Monday, however. Regulatory data released Friday showed that hedge funds increasingly expected corn prices to fall further. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission put money managers' net short position at over 230,000 futures and options contracts as of last Tuesday, a record.

Analysts said that helped limit further selling interest on Monday as some traders held that prices were unlikely to fall further without changes to the supply-and-demand outlook, unwinding their short positions as a result.

CBOT December corn futures rose 0.6% to $3.45 a bushel.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 20, 2017 16:39 ET (21:39 GMT)