U.S. agricultural futures close mixed

By Xu Jing

CHICAGO, March 20 (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 May delivery fell 1.25 cents, or 0.2 percent, to settle at 6.33 U.S. dollars per bushel. May wheat lost 9.75 cents, or 1.37 percent, to settle at 7.0075 dollars per bushel. May soybean rose 9.5 cents, or 0.64 percent, to settle at 14.86 dollars per bushel.

Wheat market is digesting stagnation in Russian interior and FOB prices. Russian wheat is still buyable at 290 dollars per metric ton. Overall, the macro landscape has become rather complex as governments must combat both inflation and liquidity.

Risk off has dominated market strategy since mid-February. Normal seeding dates and favorable Central U.S. weather this summer are needed to build global stocks in 2023. Chicago-based research company AgResource holds that market volatility will continue, and new sales will only be made on recoveries.

U.S. export inspections in the week ending March 16 show U.S. corn shipments totaled 47 million bushels, as against 40 million bushels in the previous week and a new crop year high; soybean shipments totaled 26 million bushels, as against 23 million bushels in the previous week and a three-week high; and wheat shipments were 14 million bushels, as against 9 million bushels in the previous week.

For respective crop years to date, the United States has shipped 690 million bushels of corn, down 36 percent year on year; 598 million bushels of wheat, down 2 percent; and 1,619 million bushels of soybeans, up 3 percent.

Weather forecast for Central U.S. is colder and snowier in the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest than previously forecast. A second event of snowfall is forecast from Saturday to Monday. A needed warmer temperature profile will evolve across the heart of the Midwest by late week.

Soaking rainfall is imminent in Argentina, but Argentine rainfall at this point is less important for corn and soybean yields. The Brazilian weather outlook remains largely favorable.

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