U.S. agricultural futures fall

By Xu Jing

CHICAGO, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural futures fell across the board on Thursday, led by wheat.

The most active corn contract for May delivery fell one cent, or 0.15 percent, to settle at 6.495 U.S. dollars per bushel. May wheat plunged 12.5 cents, or 1.77 percent, to settle at 6.9225 dollars per bushel. May soybean lost 2.75 cents, or 0.19 percent, to settle at 14.745 dollars per bushel.

CBOT agricultural markets were lower ahead of U.S. Department of Agriculture stocks and seeding data due on Friday. Chicago-based research company AgResource holds that volatility provides opportunity over the next 45-60 days.

U.S. export sales in the week ending March 23 were 41 million bushels of corn, as against 122 million bushels in the previous week; 13 million bushels of soybeans, as against 6 million bushels in the previous week; and 6 million bushels of wheat, as against 5 million bushels in the prior week.

For respective crop years to date, U.S. exporters have sold 1,416 million bushels of corn, down 33 percent year on year; 1,828 million bushels of soybeans, down 10 percent; and 662 million bushels of wheat, down 5 percent.

U.S. exporters sold another 178,000 metric tons of old crop corn to China Thursday.

The EU Commission raised EU wheat stocks by 1 million metric tons to 18.6 million metric tons. EU wheat exports were left unchanged at 32 million metric tons.

Heavy rain/snow is projected across the Northern Plains, Eastern Midwest and Delta into April 6-7. Warming occurs briefly in the Midwest early next week, but below-normal temperatures resume thereafter. Freezing lows persist across the Northern Plains into mid-April.

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