U.S. agricultural futures close mixed

By Xu Jing
  • World
  • Friday, 20 Nov 2020

CHICAGO, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural futures closed mixed on Thursday, with corn and wheat slipping and soybean rising.

The most active corn contract for March delivery fell 3.25 cents, or 0.75 percent, to settle at 4.2725 dollars per bushel. March wheat lost 7.75 cents, or 1.28 percent, to settle at 5.9875 dollars per bushel. January soybean rose 1.75 cents, or 0.15 percent, to close at 11.775 dollars per bushel.

Soybeans rose on U.S. cash strength while corn and wheat fell on ongoing fund long liquidation, Chicago-based research company AgResource noted. South American weather now drives prices.

No new U.S. sales were announced in the daily reporting system. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported in its weekly sales report that the United States sold 7.1 million bushels of wheat, 42.9 million bushels of corn and 51.0 million bushels of soybeans in the week ending Nov. 12.

For respective crop years to date, the United States has sold 634 million bushels of wheat, up 10.4 percent from last year; 1,388 million bushels of corn, up 165 percent; and 1,884 million bushels of soybean, up 117 percent. China added 4.44 million bushels of corn and over 40 million bushels of U.S. soybean purchases last week. China appears to be on its way to taking as much as 38-40 million metric tons of soybeans in the 2020-2021 crop year, which will raise U.S. soybean exports above 2,375 million bushels, AgResource noted. Such export demand will cut U.S. 2020-2021 soybean end stocks to under 100 million bushels.

Weather forecast showed a slightly warmer/wetter profile for Argentina and Southern Brazil next week. Northern and Central Brazil stays largely dry with any rain focused on Northeast Brazil, namely Sao Paulo and Minas Gerias. The drying trend across Northern Brazil is worrisome for crops with limited soil moisture noted heading into December. The outlook for South American crops is threatening.

AgResource holds that U.S. 2020-2021 soybean export has been underestimated with 86 percent of the 2,200-million-bushel 2020-2021 annual forecast being already sold in mid-November. U.S. corn futures are awaiting improved Chinese corn buying or a worsening of South American weather.

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