By Jesse Newman

CHICAGO--Soybean futures fell Wednesday, pressured by improving conditions in South America and signs of a slowdown in export demand. Wheat also declined while corn rose.

Prices for soybeans fell for a fifth consecutive session as drier weather in Argentina boosted hopes for that nation's crop, which was besieged by wet weather earlier in the season. After heavy rains and flooding soaked soybean fields in Argentina, warm, dry weather has this week brought relief to some areas, damping fears over major crop shortfalls in that country. At the same time, good growing conditions are benefiting yields in Brazil, another big U.S. rival for soybean production and export.

Meanwhile, soybean purchases from China, the world's largest buyer of the oilseeds, are tapering off in time for that country's Lunar New Year, while foreign importers also are shifting purchases to rival shippers in South America, as is common for this time of year.

Soybean futures for March delivery declined 3 1/4 cents, or 0.3%, to $10.55 1/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade.

Buyers kept the corn market afloat, however, as did fresh evidence of overseas demand for U.S. supplies of the grain. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said private exporters sold 141,224 metric tons of corn for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2016-17 crop year.

Analysts say the recent spate of corn sales likely represents purchases by Mexican importers worried about deleterious trade policies under President Trump.

CBOT March corn added 3 cents, or 0.8%, to $3.66 1/4 a bushel.

CBOT March wheat fell 2 1/4 cents, or 0.5%, to $4.24 1/2 a bushel.

Write to Jesse Newman at jesse.newman@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 25, 2017 15:27 ET (20:27 GMT)

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