U.S. agricultural futures fall

By Xu Jing

CHICAGO, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural futures fell across the board on Wednesday, led by soybean.

The most active corn contract for March delivery fell 4 cents, or 0.76 percent, to settle at 5.22 U.S. dollars per bushel. March wheat lost 4.5 cents, or 0.67 percent, to settle at 6.6775 dollars per bushel. March soybean shed 16.25 cents, or 1.17 percent, to close at 13.695 dollars per bushel.

CBOT futures' fall narrowed as the markets were trying to recover from correction. Following a nearly 3-dollar rally in soybeans and 1-dollar rally in corn, the CBOT needed a correction to ease technical overbought conditions, Chicago-based research company AgResource noted.

AgResource holds that the revival of the world economic outlook due to vaccinations, Brazilian soybean yields and renewed Chinese import demand will spur the next rally leg.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture did not announce any new U.S. daily grain sales. However, China has shown strong interest for U.S. corn for April-June and for U.S. soybeans for February, AgResource learned.

Chinese spot crush margins are calculated at their best levels since August at more than 400 yuan per metric ton. The margins have jumped on the CBOT soybean price fall. AgResource expects rising import margins to boost Chinese soybean import buying.

Weather forecast shows limited rainfall will occur across Argentina over the next five days before showers return to Santa Fe and Corrientes on Tuesday. The southern half of Argentina and a broad area of Northern and East Central Brazil will stay dry for the next 10 days. It is Northern Brazil where the dryness is having an adverse impact on yield.

Improved Chinese crush margins combined with Brazilian harvest delays will underpin CBOT soybean, AgResource holds. With Russia still deciding on robust export restrictions and China seeking additional U.S. corn for spring/summer, the bullish trends for agricultural futures have not changed.

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