U.S. agricultural futures close mixed

By Xu Jing

CHICAGO, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural futures closed mixed on Wednesday, with corn and soybean rising and wheat falling.

The most active corn contract for December delivery rose 1.75 cents, or 0.29 percent, to settle at 6.12 U.S. dollars per bushel. December wheat fell 22.25 cents, or 2.77 percent, to settle at 7.805 dollars per bushel. November soybean gained 9 cents, or 0.65 percent, to settle at 13.9 dollars per bushel.

Wheat dragged lower on headline news and weaker trade in Europe. Five vessels are scheduled to arrive at Ukrainian ports Wednesday. The United States has pledged to spend 68 million dollars to secure and ship an estimated 150,000 metric tons of Ukrainian wheat.

Crop tour has so far found excellent yield potential in northern Illinois and eastern Iowa, but pollination issues increase as one travels west. Chicago-based research company AgResource continues to advise against chasing daily moves, but urges end users to use near-term seasonal weakness to position long over the next two to three weeks.

Weekly Energy Information Administration (EIA) data lean neutral to corn and ethanol. U.S. ethanol production through the week ending Aug. 12 totaled 289 million gallons, just one million gallon below the pace needed to meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) forecast.

More importantly, U.S. gasoline consumption last week was 9.35 million barrels per day, the highest since early July and unchanged from the same week in 2021.

It is slightly farther south with Southern Plains rainfall next week, and warmer across the Central Plains and Upper Midwest. An expansive high-pressure ridge is forecast to keep the mean position of the jet stream aligned north and east of the principal agricultural belt into Aug. 27.

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