U.S. grains: Soy futures fall as harvest pace picks up

Chicago | Reuters –– U.S. corn and soybean futures fell on Tuesday, under pressure from the expanding harvest around the U.S. Midwest as well as some profit-taking after rallying on Monday, traders said.

Wheat futures also fell, but losses were kept in check as bargain buyers stepped into the market when prices hit their session lows.

The 1.4 per cent drop in soybeans erased all of Monday’s gains and pushed prices for the front-month contract to a 6-1/2 year low. Good harvest weather and improving conditions in the field raised expectations for farmers to reap a bumper crop in the next few weeks.

“We have got unbelievable harvest weather out here,” said Mark Gold, managing partner at Top Third Ag Marketing. “There is not a cloud in the sky around much of the country. The yields are generally better than we thought they could be.”

Chicago Board Of Trade November soybeans settled down 12-1/2 cents at $8.61-3/4 a bushel while CBOT December corn was four cents lower at $3.80-1/2 a bushel (all figures US$).

The U.S. soybean harvest is seven per cent complete, ahead of the year-ago pace, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report after the market closed on Monday.

The agency also rated 63 per cent of the soybean crop as good to excellent, up from 61 per cent a week earlier.

USDA said corn crop ratings were unchanged at 68 per cent good to excellent, adding that 10 per cent of the crop had been harvested.

“U.S. crop ratings have improved and the harvest is progressing well, there is no issue with near-term supplies,” said Paul Deane, senior agricultural economist at ANZ Bank.

Weakness in the Brazilian real added further pressure to the soybean market. The currency hit an-all time low on Tuesday, weakening past four per dollar on renewed market concerns over Brazil’s increasingly complicated economic and political outlook.

Currency fluctuations also weighed on the wheat market. A stronger dollar, which makes U.S. wheat less attractive to overseas buyers, underlined a tough export outlook in a well-supplied world market.

CBOT December wheat ended down 1-1/4 cents at $4.95-1/2 a bushel.

Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus Trompiz in Paris.

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