U.S. agricultural futures close mixed

By Xu Jing

CHICAGO, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural futures closed mixed on Monday, with corn and wheat falling and soybean rising.

The most active corn contract for December delivery plunged 21 cents, or 3.12 percent, to settle at 6.53 U.S. dollars per bushel. September wheat fell 19 cents, or 2.03 percent, to settle at 9.175 dollars per bushel. November soybean rose 8.5 cents, or 0.6 percent, to settle at 14.3275 dollars per bushel.

Corn showed the most weakness due to weekend rainfall across Illinois that produced some needed soil moisture. The risk-off mentality is related to the prospect of improving Central U.S. weather. Nevertheless, Chicago-based research company AgResource holds that it is difficult to become bearish on grain amid strong ethanol and soybean crush margins, improving export interest and stout cash markets.

Seeded acres and stocks of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report due out on Thursday will help the market better understand the importance of weather. One thing that is certain is that price volatility is going to stay extreme. AgResource stays bullish.

USDA reported Monday that for the week ending June 23, U.S. export inspections were 49 million bushels of corn, 17.2 million bushels of soybeans and 12.9 million bushels of wheat. For respective crop years to date, the United States has shipped out 49.1 million bushels of wheat, down 7 million bushels year on year; 1,866 million bushels of corn, down 17 percent; and 1,887 million bushels of soybeans, down 11 percent.

Energy markets have been at the heart of rising inflation and the CBOT grain bull markets. U.S. farmers are not willing to part with old crop corn and soybean stocks until the pollination period is past. AgResource stays bullish of energy values on tightening supplies heading into the winter heating months.

It will be much warmer in the 10-15 day period. There is broad consistency among the models that heat/dryness will be featured in early and mid-July.

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