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Rains fall, grains fall

08/22/2013 @ 3:43pm

Much-needed rainfall across parts of the Midwest sent U.S. corn and soybean prices falling Thursday.

Chicago Board of Trade corn for September delivery ended down 10 1/4 cents, or 2%, to $4.87 1/2 a bushel, while December corn closed down 18 3/4 cents to $4.64 1/2.

CBOT September soybean futures fell 11 cents, or 0.8%, to $13.22 a bushel, while November soybeans ended down 17 1/4 cents to $12.86 3/4.

Better-than-expected rainfall overnight in parts of the western corn belt, followed by continued rains further east Thursday, are giving many areas some much needed relief from a recent dry spell. Soybean crops in particular have been in need of rain, traders said.

The rains ease concerns about yield losses, at least temporarily, traders said, and provided a reason to take profits on long positions after recent gains.

With historically high acreage, the U.S. is likely to produce a record crop even if yields are less-than-phenomenal, according to analysts.

Even with U.S. crop uncertainty, most other major corn and soybean producing countries are developing large crops, said Joel Karlin, an analyst with Western Milling, a California feed company. That, along with the fact that farmers have been very reluctant sellers recently, hang like "the sword of Damocles" over the market, Mr. Karlin said. The longer farmers delay their sales, the bigger the flood of grain that could ultimately enter the markets, analysts say.

Traders said that concerns are greater with the soybean crop.

"This is a crop that definitely needs more rain," Mr. Karlin said.

Losses were limited in the nearby contracts by tight near-term supplies ahead of the harvest and strong cash-market prices.

Lackluster exports also weighed on prices Thursday, as weekly sales reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Thursday were below expectations for both corn and soybeans.

CBOT wheat was also lower Thursday. September futures ended down 8 1/4 cents to $6.30 1/2.


Write to Ian Berry at ian.berry@wsj.com
Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 22, 2013 15:28 ET (19:28 GMT)
DJ U.S. Corn, Soy Futures Retreat as Rain Eases Crop Worries->copyright


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What Rain? 08/22/2013 @ 6:16pm No rain here in 4 weeks. Had 1.8" on July 26th. No rain before that for 4 weeks. I'm about 15 miles southeast of Iowa City. There will be hardly any soybeans here without some serious rain. Need a good 4 incher to help. Looks like most of the rain fell where they didn't need it as much. I'll guarantee it wasn't a billion dollar rain!

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