U.S. agricultural futures rise

By Xu Jing

CHICAGO, March 29 (Xinhua) -- Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural futures rose across the board on Wednesday, led by wheat.

The most active corn contract for May delivery rose 3.25 cents, or 0.5 percent, to settle at 6.505 U.S. dollars per bushel. May wheat gained 5 cents, or 0.71 percent, to settle at 7.0475 dollars per bushel. May soybean climbed 9.5 cents, or 0.65 percent, to settle at 14.7725 dollars per bushel.

CBOT agricultural markets are firm but off session highs. Money flow and chart patterns will be driving price discovery into the release of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) stocks and seeding data on Friday. There is no signal that markets are oversupplied.

Exits of Cargill and Viterra from Russia suggest Russia appears to have become a less reliable market for at least spring and early summer delivery. Chicago-based research company AgResource holds that near-term corn and soybean direction hinges upon USDA data. Next resistance in May soybeans lies at 14.90 dollars.

U.S. exporters sold another 204,000 metric tons of corn to China Wednesday, bringing announced sales to China above 3 million metric tons since mid-March.

U.S. ethanol production last week was 295 million gallons, up just 2 million gallons from the previous week. A rapid drawdown in inventories lies ahead, which in turn requires at least a modest boost in grind rates April onward.

Massive snow is projected across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest next week, and additional heavy rainfall in the eastern Midwest this weekend and again next Tuesday-Thursday. Snow/cold in the North and exceptional drought across the southern Plains don't look to be eased in the next two weeks.

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