U.S. agricultural futures close mixed

By Xu Jing

CHICAGO, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural futures closed mixed on Friday, with corn and soybean rising and wheat unchanged.

The most active corn contract for May delivery rose 11 cents, or 1.69 percent, to settle at 6.605 U.S. dollars per bushel. May wheat remained unchanged from the previous trading day to settle at 6.9225 dollars per bushel. May soybean soared 31 cents, or 2.1 percent, to settle at 15.055 dollars per bushel.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) March 1 Stocks and Seeding Intentions Report was bullish for old crop corn, soybeans and wheat, while the 2023 Seeding Intentions of U.S. corn, soybeans and spring wheat came in close to expectations.

U.S. March 1 corn stocks were at 7,758 million bushels, up from 7,696 million bushels last year; U.S. March 1 soybean stocks were at 1,685 million bushels, down 247 million bushels from last year and 70 million bushels below trade estimates; U.S. March 1 wheat end stocks were 946 million bushels, down 83 million bushels.

Though U.S. wheat export data is near a 40-year low through mid-March, the wheat stocks total is supportive to price.

U.S. 2023 total crop intentions were forecast at 318.1 million acres, up 6 million acres from last year, the largest seeding since 2019. To be specific, U.S. corn seeding was 92 million acres, up from 88.6 million acres in 2022.

U.S. soybean seeding was estimated at 87.2 million acres, the same as last year. U.S. soybean seeding has held just above 87.0 million acres for the past three years.

Total 2023 U.S. wheat seeding rose to 49.9 million acres, up 4.2 million acres. U.S. winter wheat seeding went up 23 percent to 37.5 million acres, spring wheat seeding was down 2 percent from last year at 10.6 million acres. The total expansion of U.S. all wheat acres was larger than expected.

USDA March 1 Stocks estimates are bullish, especially for soybeans. Chicago-based research company AgResource forecast new highs for CBOT futures this summer.

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