U.S. agricultural futures rise

By Xu Jing

CHICAGO, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural futures rose across the board on Tuesday, led by wheat.

The most active corn contract for March delivery rose 2.25 cents, or 0.54 percent, to settle at 4.1875 U.S. dollars per bushel. May wheat soared 20.25 cents, or 3.62 percent, to settle at 5.7925 dollars per bushel. March soybean gained 6.75 cents, or 0.58 percent, to settle at 11.79 dollars per bushel.

Corn, soybean and wheat futures were bouncing from an oversold technical condition. The CBOT will have to form a base before any sustained rally can be launched. CBOT values should be range bound and choppy in the weeks ahead.

CBOT is a bear market, and is reaching a mature phase. However, this does not mean that lows have been formed or that rallies can last longer than a few days. Chicago-based research company AgResource holds that more back-and-forth trade is what to look for into late week.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that 155,000 metric tons of U.S. corn was sold to Mexico for 2024-2025.

U.S. weekly export inspections for the week ending Feb. 15 were 14 million bushels of wheat, 36.2 million bushels of corn and 43.6 million bushels of soybeans. The export pace was greater than expected for soybeans, less than expected in wheat and in line in corn.

For respective crop years to date, the United States has shipped out 713 million bushels of corn, up 32 percent year on year; 1,174 million bushels of soybeans, down 22 percent; and 444.3 million bushels of wheat, down 22 percent.

Below normal rainfall blankets most of Argentina. The drying Argentine weather should not be a problem for crops amid a lack of heat. Near to below normal rain will persist across Brazil. Weather forecast leans neutral to slightly negative to South American crop production for the next 10 days.

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