August 1, 2017 / 9:39 PM / a year ago

GRAINS-Soy slides as crop ratings, weather boost supply prospects

    * Soybeans drop after USDA raises crop ratings
    * Corn follows soybeans downward despite dip in ratings
    * Wheat turns lower as U.S. spring wheat harvest begins

 (Updates with closing CBOT prices, INTL FCStone crop estimates)
    By Julie Ingwersen
    CHICAGO, Aug 1 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures fell more
than 3 percent on Tuesday after an unexpected improvement in the
condition of the U.S. crop eased concerns that recent hot
weather would hurt yields.
    Corn and wheat futures followed soybeans lower.
    Benchmark November soybean futures on the Chicago
Board of Trade settled down 35-1/2 cents at $9.71-3/4 per bushel
after dipping to $9.69-3/4, the contract's lowest since July 3.
Technical selling accelerated as the contract fell below its
200-day moving average near $9.86-1/2.
    CBOT December corn ended down 8-1/4 cents at $3.76-1/2
a bushel after hitting a one-month low at $3.75-3/4. CBOT
September wheat fell 13-1/4 cents to $4.61-1/4 a bushel.
    Soybeans led the way down after the U.S. Department of
Agriculture late Monday rated 59 percent of the U.S. soy crop in
good to excellent condition, up from 57 percent a week earlier.
Analysts surveyed by Reuters on average had expected no change.
    "Soybean yield potential may not be as low as some had
expected," MaxYield Cooperative market analyst Karl Setzer wrote
in a note to clients. "For today, (the) trade feels the crop is
getting better, not worse."
    Pressure also stemmed from forecasts for mild Midwest
temperatures in August, the key month for determining soybean
    "The general feeling is now that ... we have a two-week
outlook that calls for favorable growing conditions and no real
threat of heat, we could have a bean crop that really shapes
up," said Terry Reilly, senior analyst with Futures
International in Chicago.
    After the CBOT close, commodity brokerage INTL FCStone
 projected U.S. 2017 soybean production at 4.235 billion
bushels, with an average yield of 47.7 bushels per acre (bpa).
The figures compare with the USDA's current forecast for a 4.260
billion bushel crop with a yield of 48.0 bpa.
    INTL FCStone forecast this year's corn harvest at 13.590
billion bushels with an average yield of 162.8 bpa. The figures
fell below the USDA's forecast for a corn crop of 14.255 billion
bushels with a yield of 170.4 bpa.
    CBOT wheat futures turned lower after early advances on
technical selling and spillover weakness from soy and corn.
    Also bearish was the start of the harvest in the northern
Plains. The USDA said the harvest of the drought-hit U.S. spring
wheat crop was 9 percent complete, matching the five-year
average. In South Dakota, the harvest was 46 percent complete,
ahead of the state's five-year average of 31 percent.

    CBOT settlement prices: 
                        Last     Net     Pct  Volume
                              change  change  
 CBOT wheat     WU7   461.25  -13.25    -2.8   79691
 CBOT corn      CZ7   376.50   -8.25    -2.1  170920
 CBOT soybeans  SX7   971.75  -35.50    -3.5  188801
 CBOT soymeal   SMZ7  314.50  -10.90    -3.3   64613
 CBOT soyoil    BOZ7   34.28   -0.85    -2.4   72930
   NOTE: CBOT September wheat, December corn and November
soybeans shown in cents per bushel, December soymeal in dollars
per short ton and December soyoil in cents per lb.

 (Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham
in Sydney; editing by David Gregorio and G Crosse)
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