Soybean futures prices rallied sharply on the Chicago Board of Trade on Thursday as the focus shifted away from rains in the Midwest that had been seen as a boon to a strong crop. Corn prices also moved higher.
On other markets, cotton advanced as much as the daily limit of 2 cents a pound, precious metals retreated, livestock and meat were mostly higher and energy futures advanced.
Widespread showers in the Corn Belt had driven the price of corn for delivery in December down about 23 cents a bushel from the highs of last week and the November soybean contracts had lost 53 cents a bushel.
"The market was due for a correction," said Victor Lespinasse, a trader with the investment firm Dean Witter Reynolds Inc.
Also, while the rains have persisted for about a week, some parts of the Midwest have received relatively minor amounts.
Corn and soybean prices had risen dramatically earlier in the month because of dry conditions that discouraged farmers from planting soybeans, leading to speculation that this year's crop would be reduced. But the rains washed away those concerns early in the week and prices fell.