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Corn, beans sink on dry forecast

Updated: 10/22/2013 @ 4:06pm

Corn closed at its lowest level in a week and soybean futures declined as dry weather the rest of this week in the U.S. will speed the harvest of both crops amid favorable conditions. Wheat futures gained.

Wet weather Tuesday will keep farmers out of fields, but drier conditions are expected later this week into the weekend, according to forecaster DTN. Wet, stormy weather in the 6- to 10-day period may again slow the harvest, DTN agricultural meteorologist Joel Burgio said.

Growers through Sunday had harvested 63% of the U.S. soybean crop, up from 11% on Sept. 29, when the Department of Agriculture last reported crop progress, according to a government report on Monday. Corn was 39% collected, up from 12% at the end of last month, the report said. Corn production is expected to reach a record 13.8 billion bushels and soybean output is forecast to rise 4.4% this year, according to the USDA.

About 57% of soybeans were in good or excellent condition versus 53% on Sept. 29, according to the USDA. The corn crop was rated 60% good or excellent as of Sunday compared with 55% at the end of September, the crop-progress report showed.

"The corn fundamentals are by no means bullish, and then you take this crop report that gives a big bump to crop ratings to give reinforcement to the bullish side," said Arlan Suderman, a senior market analyst at Peoria, Ill.-based brokerage Water Street Solutions. "We're still early enough in the harvest that the good crop and big supplies are the focus."

Corn for December delivery dropped 5 3/4 cents, or 1.3%, to $4.38 1/4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the lowest closing price for the front-month contract since Oct. 14. Soybean futures for November delivery on the CBOT fell 1 cent, or 0.1%, to $13.02 1/4 a bushel.

Wheat gained on strong demand as a cheaper dollar makes U.S. inventories more attractive to overseas buyers. The dollar fell to the lowest level in almost two years against the euro on weak U.S. employment.

"The ongoing tightening supply of global quality milling wheat stockpiles have been leading buyers to the U.S., and the dollar increased our competitiveness in the world market," Mr. Suderman said.

Wheat futures for December delivery gained 1 cent, or 0.1%, to $7.00 3/4 a bushel in Chicago.

Write to Tony C. Dreibus at tony.dreibus@wsj.com
Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 22, 2013 15:35 ET (19:35 GMT)
DJ Corn, Soybeans Fall as Dry Weather to Speed Harvest->copyright

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