Grain futures recovered from early losses on Tuesday to close higher, while soybean contracts fell.
Traders were playing corn and soybean prices off each other, said Arlan Suderman of INTL FCStone Inc. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said last week that hedge funds had built a large net short position in the corn market while holding a net long position in the soybean market.
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Changing harvest and weather conditions prompted traders to start unwinding those positions this week, analysts said, buying corn futures while selling the oilseed.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Monday that American farmers harvested 70% of the oilseed crop as of last weekend, making rapid progress after a slow start. Though some rain delays were expected in the eastern Midwest, traders were bracing for pressure on prices as more newly harvested soybeans flowed into the market.
Rainfall forecast for northern Brazil next week is further easing concerns about the region's soybean crop, pressuring prices as traders brace for another large harvest in the U.S.'s main oilseed export competitor.
Soybean futures for November delivery fell 0.5% to $9.75 1/2 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade.
Farmers made slower progress with the corn harvest last week, according to the USDA, collecting 38% of the crop. That was below expectations and well behind the pace of recent years. But, with the condition of the crop improving, analysts said those delays were unlikely to cause significant supply problems.
CBOT December corn futures rose 0.4% to $3.52 3/4 a bushel while December wheat climbed 0.3% to $4.38 a bushel.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 24, 2017 16:35 ET (20:35 GMT)