US soybeans rally after trade talks, but close lower weekly

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, February 3, 2019
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Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural futures closed mixed in the trading week which ended on Feb. 1, and market participants welcomed the positive outcome of the latest round of U.S.-China trade talks.

Anticipation that China will buy more U.S. agricultural products, especially soybeans, pushed up the oil seed prices double digits during Friday's session, before the futures settled with moderate daily gains.

However, the gains over optimism were not enough to recover losses earlier this week.

On a weekly basis, the most active soybean contract for March delivery fell 7.5 cents, or 0.81 percent, to close at 9.1775 dollars per bushel.

CBOT March wheat rose 4.25 cents, or 0.82 percent weekly, to settle at 5.2425 dollars per bushel.

Wheat futures climbed sharply on Friday over dry weather conditions in western states of Australia, one of the leading wheat growers in the world.

Possible winterkill caused by the deep freeze that hit U.S. Midwest in the past week also supported the grain, said market watchers.

Moreover, Black Sea wheat prices have soared to new multi-year highs. Even Argentine FOB offers have rallied 14 U.S. dollars per metric tonne since mid-January. This reportedly leaves U.S. wheat as the world's cheapest milling origin.

AgResource, a Chicago-based agricultural research firm, believes that large demand lies ahead for U.S. wheat.

CBOT March corn was down 2 cents, or 0.53 percent weekly, to settle at 3.7825 dollars per bushel.

U.S. ethanol production in the seven days that ended on Jan. 25 declined to the lowest level in three weeks, according to data released from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Corn is the raw material for ethanol.

Another factor that dragged down CBOT corn prices is that Argentine corn crop estimates have been raised amid ongoing favorable weather across its primary crop belt.

Still, experts argue that otherwise fundamental input remains supportive for corn.

This past week, the polar vortex hit the upper Midwest region hard. Now it has moved out and temperatures are becoming higher. However, another round of snow storm will probably impact the area next Wednesday or Thursday, according to weather forecasters.

Due to the record-long partial federal government shutdown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) could not update its exports, supply and demand reports since Dec. 22, 2018.

The USDA in the past week has resumed daily reporting of export sales, but it will take time to clear out all the backlogged data for weekly reports. The regular reporting schedule for weekly export sales can only be back to normal for the week ending Feb. 22, 2019, said USDA. 

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