Grain, Soybean Futures Slide

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Grain and soybean futures fell on Thursday as buying interest waned.

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The wheat market in particular turned lower after starting the year higher over concerns about crop condition in the Great Plains.

Crop observers said that freezing weather probably damaged some of the wheat crop in Kansas, though it would take months for the effects to become clear.

Analysts said that the recent rally in U.S. wheat, which faces tough export competition from grain in Russia and elsewhere, made it less attractive for global buyers.

"The problem is we rallied up in the wheat market and probably took ourselves out of world wheat competition," said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities.

Wheat futures for March delivery fell 0.5% to $4.34 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade.

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Corn and soybean futures were also lower. Forecasts for rainfall in Argentina later this month will help relieve dry crops, said the Commodity Weather Group in a note to clients. Crop-growing conditions in Brazil are mostly good.

CBOT March corn futures fall 0.6% to $3.51 a bushel, while January soybean contracts slid 0.1% to $9.59 1/4 a bushel.

Supportive outside markets were not enough to prevent losses. Crude oil prices continued to rally, helping the commodity sector, while a lower dollar made U.S. crop exports cheaper.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 04, 2018 16:14 ET (21:14 GMT)