By Jesse Newman

CHICAGO--Corn and soybean futures rebounded Thursday, shored up by robust demand from overseas buyers.

Soybean prices gained after a two-day slump as stronger-than-expected federal export data lifted optimism over demand for the crop. The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday said net soybean sales for the week ended Oct. 27 totaled more than 2.5 million metric tons, far surpassing analysts' expectations for 1.3 to 1.8 million tons.

That helped boost prices for the oilseeds which had been pressured earlier in the week by the projected record crop currently being harvested by U.S. growers. Analysts widely expect the USDA in a monthly report next week to raise its forecasts for the nation's soybean output, heaping more pressure on export markets to soak up abundant supplies.

Soybean futures for November rose 3 cents, or 0.3%, to $9.79 3/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade.

Private agricultural firm Informa Economics on Thursday projected U.S. farmers would harvest 4.353 billion bushels of soybeans on yields of 52.4 bushels an acre, an increase from the USDA's latest forecast for 4.269 billion bushels on yields of 51.4 bushels per acre.

Unexpectedly strong export sales also helped turn the corn market around after four straight days of losses. According to the government, net corn sales last week totaled nearly 1.5 million metric tons, which beat analyst forecasts for 700,000 to 1.05 million tons.

Light fund buying also helped tip corn prices into positive territory, despite projections by Informa for a larger crop than the USDA has previously anticipated. The firm estimated U.S. corn growers this year will harvest 15.109 billion bushels on 174 bushels per acre.

CBOT December corn futures gained 1 3/4 cents, or 0.5%, to $3.48 a bushel.

Wheat prices dropped, pressured by weak export sales. Lackluster demand for U.S. wheat supplies last week heaped pessimism on a the wheat market during a time when the U.S. and the world are oversupplied with grain.

CBOT December wheat fell 5 3/4 cents, or 1.4%, to $4.12 a bushel.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 03, 2016 15:27 ET (19:27 GMT)

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