US agricultural futures close mixed

CHICAGO, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural futures closed mixed on Monday, with corn slipping slightly and wheat and soybean rising.

The most active corn contract for March delivery fell 0.25 cents, or 0.05 percent, to settle at 4.8375 dollars per bushel. March wheat rose 1.5 cents, or 0.23 percent, to settle at 6.42 dollars per bushel. March soybean gained 2 cents, or 0.15 percent, to close at 13.13 dollars per bushel.

CBOT agricultural futures were in profit taking and basically unchanged. Chicago-based research company AgResource holds that agricultural futures are just in technical correction, as corn futures have rallied 14 consecutive days while soybean and wheat futures had become overbought. With U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) January crop report 5 days away, traders are trimming their market exposure ahead of the key data.

U.S. weekly export inspections for the week ending December 31 were 35.9 million bushels of corn, 47.9 million bushels of soybeans and 11.9 million bushels of wheat. China shipped out 29.9 million bushels or 62 percent of the annual U.S. export. China also shipped out a couple of cargoes of U.S. corn.

For respective crop years to date, the United States has exported a record 1,416 million bushels of soybeans, up 77 percent from last year; 587 million bushels of corn, up 73 percent; and 546 million bushels of wheat, equal to last year.

What's remarkable is that the United States has already exported 64 percent of the annual USDA soybean export estimate.

Weather forecast shows it is wetter in Central and Eastern Argentina. Limited rain will drop across Argentina over the next 7-8 days. After the rain, Argentina looks to return to a drier profile. Northern Brazil will endure below normal rainfall. The trend of below normal rainfall in South American is forecast to persist into February.

AgResource predicts that the correction may last for a few days. As nothing indicates U.S. demand rationing or a slowing of China interest, March soybeans should hold support at 13.00 dollars and March corn at 4.75 dollars.