Weekly Chicago crop futures close mixed amid gradual easing of COVID-19 shutdowns

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CHICAGO, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural futures closed mixed for the trading week ending June 5 as COVID-19 shutdowns were increasingly relaxed in the United States.

Corn extended its recovery as funds began to cover large short positions. Ethanol production margins improved as U.S. and world energy markets began to digest a lower supply of the corn-based fuel as Americans drove more miles. However, prices will be affected by the unlikelihood of a drought occurring in the central U.S. region prior to pollination amid favorable soil moisture in France and Eastern Europe.

Wheat settled slightly lower amid volatility. The spark needed to trigger substantial fund buying remains absent, according to Chicago-based agricultural research firm AgResource. New crop importer demand also remains scarce.

Soybeans finished at a 10-week high, supported by steady demand from China and a bounce in corn. The United States Department of Agriculture announced sales of 33 million bushels of combined old and new crop soybeans in three days last week, mostly to unknown destinations and China. The United States now can expect to see new weekly sales to China well into the harvest season, AgResource said.

AgResource said it expects 89 percent to 93 percent of the U.S. soybean crop to be planted in the week ahead with 70 percent of the crop so far rated either good or excellent.

The research firm sees world commodity demand as "unlikely to recover" soon, as COVID-19 spreads rapidly into Latin America and Africa. Enditem

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