Soybean Futures End Week in the Red

02/09/18 04:25 PM EST

By Benjamin Parkin

 

Grain and soybean futures fell going into the weekend as traders locked in profits on recent gains.

Wetter forecasts for Argentina's crop belt, an important source of corn and soybeans, and the wheat-growing U.S. Plains eased concerns about those crops, pressuring prices. The Commodity Weather Group said both regions have better chances for rain next week. That was unlikely to offset the consequences of several weeks of dry weather.

That, combined with a worsening outlook for wheat and soybean prices after a U.S. Department of Agriculture report on Thursday, pressured prices on Friday.

March-dated wheat futures fell 1.6% to $4.49 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade. March soybean contracts slid 0.5% to $9.83 a bushel while March corn dropped 1% to $3.62 a bushel.

The USDA cut its projected U.S. soybean and wheat exports for this season, which it said would result in larger-than-expected domestic supplies. That was largely a result of tougher export competition from countries such as Brazil and Russia. The agency's outlook for the corn market was more supportive with higher U.S. exports and smaller global and domestic supply forecasts.

A slightly higher U.S. dollar and lower commodity prices amid a selloff in crude oil futures exacerbated the selling pressure in agricultural markets on Friday.

Capital Economics said that it expected the dollar to stabilize after a recent slump, which could weigh down the commodity sector. Strong demand would buttress agricultural produce, however.

"The supply picture, while more than ample for the grains and soybeans, is more supportive of prices than last year," the consultancy said in a note to clients. "But we think that price gains will be limited over this year as we expect oil prices to slip back and the dollar to stabilize."

 

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

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 09, 2018 16:25 ET (21:25 GMT)

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