U.S. agricultural futures fall

By Xu Jing

CHICAGO, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural futures fell across the board on Monday, led by soybean.

The most active corn contract for December delivery fell 14 cents, or 2.18 percent, to settle at 6.2825 U.S. dollars per bushel. December wheat shed 4.75 cents, or 0.58 percent, to settle at 8.1775 dollars per bushel. November soybean plunged 42 cents, or 2.89 percent, to settle at 14.1225 dollars per bushel.

There is more certainty of U.S. corn, soybean and spring wheat production amid improved weather, and traders will be looking to cash basis and export demand trends for price direction. CBOT will be shifting its focus to demand by the end of August.

Chicago-based research company AgResource doubts that either CBOT rallies or breaks will be sustained without more certainty on world economies and demand, and expects choppiness to persist into the end of August.

U.S. weekly export inspections for the week ending Aug. 11 were 21.1 million bushels of corn, 27.4 million bushels of soybeans and 13.7 million bushels of wheat. For respective crop years to date, the United States has shipped out 2,089 million bushels of corn, down 18 percent year on year; 2,031 million bushels of soybeans, down 6 percent; and 142.7 million bushels of U.S. wheat, down 23 percent.

The National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) reported a July soybean crush rate of 170.2 million bushels, slightly less than expectations at 171.0 million bushels. AgResource sees the NOPA data as being neutral to friendly to soyoil.

The International Research Institute for Climate and Society issued its long range forecasts on Monday, calling for drought risk across Argentina and Southern Brazil as La Nina hangs on for the third year in a row. The United States is forecast to see above to much above normal temperatures through November with one-third of Southern U.S. holding in an expanding drought pattern.

An improved rainfall pattern is forecast for the Midwest, Delta, and the Southern Plains over the next week, as the pattern set-up offers regular rains for these areas. Near normal rain is forecast for the Eastern Midwest.

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