Wheat Futures End Winning Streak

By FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Wheat futures reversed course, tumbling after five consecutive sessions of gains.

Drought in the southern Plains sparked concern about the quality of the winter wheat crop earlier this week, prompting a rally in the futures market as traders bet that the conditions could cap supply. But, with limited information about actual damage to the crop, some analysts said traders had exhausted that buying interest for now.

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"The trade now knows what it is dealing with in terms of Plains wheat conditions, at least until more important numbers are released in the spring when the crop emerges from dormancy," said Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist at INTL FCStone Inc.

Chicago soft-red winter wheat futures fell 1.2% to $4.51 3/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade. Kansas City hard-red winter wheat futures were also lower.

Corn and soybean futures mostly fell too. A slightly wetter turn in the forecast for an otherwise dry Argentine crop belt added to pressure on the grain-and-oilseed sector. Prices have risen in recent days on the expectation that difficult growing conditions will result in a smaller crop this year.

Analysts said the rainy forecast for Argentina was highly uncertain, however.

The corn market got some support from ongoing signs of better export demand. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that private exporters sold 145,000 metric tons of corn to what it called unknown destinations for 2017-18.

The agency has reported a corn sale every day of this week, a sign that U.S. corn is attracting more interest from global buyers. That could help exporters catch up after a lackluster season so far.

CBOT March corn futures were little changed at $3.61 1/2 a bushel, with later months lower. March soybean contracts fell 0.5% to $9.95 3/4 a bushel.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 31, 2018 15:14 ET (20:14 GMT)

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