U.S. agricultural futures rise

By Xu Jing

CHICAGO, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural futures rose across the board on Wednesday, led by wheat.

The most active corn contract for March delivery rose 4.5 cents, or 0.67 percent, to settle at 6.785 U.S. dollars per bushel. March wheat soared 15 cents, or 2 percent, to settle at 7.6475 dollars per bushel. March soybean gained 4.5 cents, or 0.3 percent, to settle at 15.1975 dollars per bushel.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) February report leans mixed, as the Crop report raises U.S. stocks and lowers Argentine production, and the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) report lacks market-changing data. Range bound trade will continue into at least the release of USDA Outlook Forum data in late February.

U.S. corn stocks were lifted 25 million bushels to 1,267 million bushels, amid lower projected ethanol production. U.S. exports as of Feb. 2 were down 42 percent from the last year.

U.S. soybean stocks were raised 15 million bushels to 225 million bushels. Exports were left unchanged.

U.S. wheat stocks were raised one million bushels to 568 million bushels.

Argentine corn production was lowered another 5 million metric tons to 47 million metric tons, as against initial estimates in late 2022 of 55 million metric tons. Argentine corn exports were lowered 3 million metric tons. World corn stocks slipped from 296.4 million metric tons in January to 295.3 million metric tons in February.

Argentina's soybean crop was lowered 4.5 million metric tons to 41 million metric tons, the lowest since 2017-2018. Argentina is forecast to be a net importer of soybeans worth 3.8 million metric tons, as against being a net exporter of 2.1 million metric tons in last year. Brazilian soybean production was left untouched at 153 million metric tons; exports will be up 17 million metric tons. World soybean stocks slipped from 103.5 million metric tons in January to 102 million metric tons in February.

World wheat stocks were raised 900,000 metric tons to 369.3 million metric tons. Australian wheat production was increased by 1.4 million metric tons to a record 38 million metric tons. Russian exports were lifted 500,000 metric tons to 43.5 million metric tons. Australian wheat exports were also raised 500,000 metric tons to a record 28 million metric tons.

Global agricultural futures have largely shrugged off new USDA data. Chicago-based research company AgResource's strategy remains to use near-term strength to position for a more bearish price trend late spring onward, as a record large Brazilian crop is likely given current soil moisture abundance there.

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