Grain Futures Rise; Soybeans Lag

Grain futures bounced as traders eased off pessimistic bets in those markets.

Speculative investors like hedge funds have in recent months bet that corn and wheat prices would fall. Analysts said they unwound some of those short positions on Wednesday, sparking higher prices.

Corn futures for March delivery rose 1.4% to $3.53 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade. CBOT March wheat contracts rose 1.2% to $4.21 1/2 a bushel.

The U.S. dollar recently fell to a multiyear low, before inching higher on Wednesday. The weaker currency helped to make American crop exports more attractive to global buyers. The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of other currencies, rose 0.1% to 84.54 on Wednesday after touching 84.2 on Tuesday.

Soybean futures were mixed on Wednesday before closing slightly higher. CBOT March soybean contracts rose 0.1% to $9.68 3/4 a bushel.

Oilseed prices started the week higher after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said last week that U.S. farmers produced less of the crop in their most recent harvest than expected. But that momentum petered out as traders faced the reality of growing domestic and global supplies, analysts said.

Signs of demand for soybeans helped steady prices on Wednesday. The USDA said that private exporters reported sales of 130,000 metric tons to what it called unknown destinations for delivery in 2018-19.

Write to Benjamin Parkin at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 17, 2018 16:04 ET (21:04 GMT)