Wheat Futures Fall on Large Canada Crop

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Grain and soybean futures turned lower Wednesday, with wheat prices leading losses on larger-than-expected Canadian harvest estimates.

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Canada's statistics agency said wheat farmers produced 30 million metric tons in 2017, above pre-report estimates and the agency's previous figure. That was down 5.5% from last year, however.

Analysts said the extra Canadian wheat would likely add to exports, exacerbating oversupply in a global market burdened by an excess of grain. U.S. wheat farmers are struggling to compete with increasing production in Russia, the European Union and elsewhere.

Soft-red winter wheat futures for December fell 1.9% to $3.98 1/2 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade. Contracts for Minneapolis spring wheat and Kansas City hard-red winter wheat were also lower.

Outside markets added to the selling pressure on Wednesday. The WSJ Dollar Index, which tracks the U.S. dollar against a basket of other currencies, rose 0.2% to 86.94. That made agricultural exports, particularly wheat, less attractive to foreign buyers. Crude-oil prices fell, pressuring the broader commodity sector.

Soybean and corn futures followed wheat lower despite ongoing concerns about crop conditions in Argentina.

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An increasing number of meteorologists say a La Nina weather pattern has formed, according to brokerage Allendale Inc., which could result in lower South American production.

There is a chance of rain in Argentina in 11 to 15 days, the Commodity Weather Group said, but otherwise around 40% of the corn and soybean crop will be dry through the middle of December.

CBOT January oilseed contracts slid 0.6% to $10.02 3/4 a bushel while December corn dropped 0.2% to $3.39 1/4 a bushel.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 06, 2017 16:17 ET (21:17 GMT)