Grain, Soybean Futures Gain on Weaker Dollar

By Benjamin ParkinFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Grain and soybean futures rose Friday as the dollar fell to fresh lows.

The weaker dollar, which took a hit after an underwhelming U.S. jobs report, threw U.S. agricultural exporters a lifeline at a time when they are facing tough competition from South American producers. The WSJ dollar index dropped 0.5% to 88.32.

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But broader selling in the commodity sector, with crude-oil futures sliding further below $50 a barrel, limited gains.

Export sales released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday morning were mixed. Corn and soybean sales were largely within expectations, but canceled orders of this year's wheat crop were accompanied by a larger-than-expected bump in wheat sales for the year to come.

Some analysts said that, for a season when Brazil and Argentina tend to ramp up their own exports, the figures were a relief.

"Given the time of year, anytime we're getting positive export sales is kind of bullish," said Brian Grossman, a market strategist at risk manager Zaner Group in Chicago. "The fact that we're moving it means a lot right now."

Soybean futures for July delivery rose 1% to $9.21 1/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade. Corn futures gained 0.6% to $3.72 3/4.

Minneapolis spring wheat continued to rally as drought concerns in the northern Plains and concerns about protein content in the winter wheat crop had traders betting on higher demand for that contract.

Spring wheat futures for July delivery touched $5.90 a bushel at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, the highest point since mid-January, before closing up 0.9% to $5.83 3/4 a bushel.

CBOT July wheat futures closed 0.1% higher at $4.29 1/2 a bushel.

Write to Benjamin Parkin at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 02, 2017 15:55 ET (19:55 GMT)