U.S. agricultural futures rise

By Xu Jing

CHICAGO, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural futures rose across the board on Tuesday, led by soybean.

The most active corn contract for March delivery rose 8 cents, or 1.65 percent, to settle at 4.9175 U.S. dollars per bushel. March wheat gained 12 cents, or 1.87 percent, to settle at 6.54 dollars per bushel. March soybean soared 34 cents, or 2.59 percent, to close at 13.47 dollars per bushel.

Soybean and wheat soared to seven-year highs. Chicago-based research company AgResource noted that an inflow of fresh investment funds along with end user pricing sparked the strong CBOT rally. The tone at the CBOT is bullish.

There are reports that China is seeking U.S. August-October soybeans and may have booked two to three cargoes for February.

Weather forecast shows it will be slightly drier for Eastern and Central Argentina in the Jan. 12-14 timeframe. Limited rainfall is offered for the next six to seven days before a cold frontal passage occurs with a chance of rain. The extended 11-15 day period offers the return of drier weather conditions with limited rains for Argentina and Southern Brazil. The Jan. 12-14 rainfall is very important for Argentine crop yield potential.

AgResource predicts that dynamic and volatile markets will continue until U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) January Crop Report is released next Tuesday. Any decline in U.S. corn and soybean yield/production is unacceptable as U.S. corn/soybean balance sheets tighten on strong demand.

AgResource stays bullish that the next price targets for soybean, corn and wheat will be 14.00 dollars, 5.20 dollars and 6.80 to 7.00 dollars, respectively.

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