U.S. agricultural futures close mixed

By Xu Jing
  • World
  • Thursday, 03 Dec 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural futures closed mixed on Wednesday, with corn and wheat rising and soybean falling.

The most active corn contract for March delivery rose 3 cents, or 0.71 percent, to settle at 4.2375 dollars per bushel. March wheat gained 11.25 cents, or 1.95 percent, to settle at 5.885 dollars per bushel. January soybean lost 9 cents, or 0.77 percent, to close at 11.53 dollars per bushel.

Wheat posted sharp gains while corn followed.

The volume of trade has been massive with fund selling on liquidation on one side, while end user and commercial demand has offered support on the other, Chicago-based research company AgResource noted.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) forecasts that China from all origins will import 13.5 million metric tons of corn in 2020-2021, while forecasts from other sources are even higher.

The United States produced 286 million gallons of ethanol last week, down 5 million gallons from the week prior. Such ethanol production would consume 99 million bushels of corn and argue for an annual corn grind that is 100-150 million bushels above the USDA estimate of 5,050 million bushels. There is a chance the USDA could raise its 2020-2021 U.S. ethanol demand forecast by 50 million bushels in the December report, AgResource noted.

Weather forecast shows that another 3-4 days of hot/dry weather will prevail across Brazil. The chance of rain in Argentina has ended with the next chance not occurring until late in the 10-day outlook. A more arid weather pattern is setting up for Southern Brazil and Argentina in coming weeks.

The U.S. Economic Research Service raised the 2020 U.S. net farm income estimate to 119.6 billion dollars on rising crop prices, up 36 percent from last year and the best since 2014. As China shows no evidence of slowing its agricultural buying, AgResource said that a sustained bearish trend is unlikely until South American crops are made.

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