Chicago agricultural futures surge weekly on worries about planting delays

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Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural futures closed higher in the trading week which ended May 31, with corn and soybeans jumping over 5 percent as traders worried about planting delays in the United States and wet weather this week.

The most active contract for July soybeans surged 48 cents weekly, or 5.78 percent, to 8.7775 dollars per bushel. July wheat was up 13.5 cents, or 2.76 percent, to 5.03 dollars per bushel. July corn jumped 22.75 cents, or 5.62 percent, to 4.27 dollars per bushel.

CBOT corn futures hit a new contract high before retreating a little bit on Friday. A government report released on Tuesday showed wet weather kept farmers out of fields in the previous week.

About 58 percent of the U.S. corn crop was planted as of Sunday (May 26), down from the prior five-year average of 90 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In the state of Iowa, 76 percent of the crop was in the ground, down from the average of 96 percent for this time of year, the USDA said in a report. Illinois growers were only 35 percent finished with seeding compared with the normal 95 percent for the week.

Soybean planting was 29 percent finished as of Sunday, far behind the average pace of 66 percent. Iowa growers were 32 percent finished vs. the normal 77 percent, while Illinois planting was 14 percent done compared with the average of 70 percent, the government said.

Wheat and soybean futures rallied on slow planting, weather concern, and spillover strength from corn.

However, all three agricultural futures fell on Friday, amid trade tensions between the United States and Mexico.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said he would impose a new 5-percent tariff on all imported Mexican goods beginning June 10 so as to pressure the country to halt undocumented migrants crossing the border.

As second largest buyer of U.S. soybeans and top importer of U.S. corn and wheat, Mexico's demand has considerable impact on U.S. crop prices.

The USDA said on Friday that weekly export sales of wheat totaled 564,800 metric tons, which is in line with analysts' forecasts. While private U.S. traders exported 983,300 metric tons of corn to foreign markets weekly, well above market estimates. 

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