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.
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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