U.S. agricultural futures close mixed

By Xu Jing

CHICAGO, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural futures closed mixed on Thursday, with corn and wheat falling and soybean rising sharply.

The most active corn contract for July delivery fell 7.25 cents, or 0.94 percent, to settle at 7.65 U.S. dollars per bushel. July wheat lost 5 cents, or 0.44 percent, to settle at 11.4325 dollars per bushel. July soybean soared 45.5 cents, or 2.71 percent, to settle at 17.265 dollars per bushel.

Soybeans traded up on commercial demand. Markets continue to chop ahead of the three-day holiday weekend, after which each and every weather model release will have a measurable impact on price discovery. Chicago-based research company AgResource maintains that breaks are buying opportunities.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) weekly export sales report shows that U.S. old crop wheat sales saw net cancellations of 85 million bushels, while new crop wheat sales amounted to 9 million bushels. Old crop wheat sales year to date are down 19 percent from a year ago, and new crop sales of 110 million bushes are 24 percent less than last year.

Weekly corn exports were at a 3-week high of 72 million bushels, resulting in a 66-million-bushel drawdown in outstanding old crop sales. New crop sales were just 2.3 million bushels, and outstanding sales rose to 223 million bushels. Outstanding new crop sales are down considerably from last year due to reduced Chinese sales but are still the second largest since 1995 and the third largest on record for this time of year.

Old crop soybean sales were at 10 million bushels, and exports amounted to 20 million bushels. New crop sales reached a 5-week high of 16 million bushels. Combined old and new crop outstanding soybean sales stand at 810 million bushels.

Temperatures in Central United States will be highly variable over the next 10 days and meaningful precipitation will be confined to portions of the Dakotas, Minnesota and narrow swath of the Central Plains stretching across eastern Kansas, eastern Nebraska and far western Iowa. Extreme heat will return to Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas this weekend or early next week. Drought across the western Plains will stay intact. Seeding delays will be ongoing across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest. Otherwise, weather across the primary Midwest will be non-threatening into the early part of June.

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