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Grain futures mixed, with corn and soybeans advancing

Grain futures were mixed on Wednesday with wheat declining, while corn and soybeans advanced despite increased US forecasts for global production.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, corn for March delivery surged by 0.41 percent to $4.3838 a bushel by 15:59 GMT. Futures held in range between day’s high and low of $4.3862 and $4.3438 per bushel, respectively. Yesterday, prices jumped to $4.4025 per bushel, the highest since October 25th. Corn added 2.26% last week following a gain of 0.38% in the preceding 5-day-period.

The US Department of Agriculture reported yesterday that world corn output in the year beginning October 1st is projected to be 964.28 million metric tons, compared to a 962.83 million forecast in the previous month and up from last years 862.88 million metric tons. The agency added that at the end of the marketing year (August 31st), the US surplus may reach 1.792 billion bushels, down from 1.887 billion forecast in November and compared with 824 million bushels a year ago.

“Despite the modest downward revision this month, U.S. corn stocks remain forecast 118 percent higher” than a year earlier, said Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, cited by Bloomberg.

DTNs December 10th forecast called for very cold weather to continue in the Midwest early this week before moderating somewhat. On Friday, more precipitation is expected, especially through southern and eastern areas. Winter wheat is likely well established through the Central and Southern Plains region at this time. However, recent very low temperatures may have been cold enough to harm some unprotected wheat in northeast Colorado and southwest Nebraska.

Wheat futures for settlement in March traded at $6.3663 per bushel at 15:52 GMT, losing 0.43% on daily basis. Prices jumped to a session high of $6.4338, while day’s low was touched at $6.3538 per bushel, the lowest since September 16th. Yesterday, prices touched $6.3512 per bushel, the lowest level since August 23rd. The grain lost 2.6% last week, snapping two five-day periods of advances of 3.0% and 0.82%, respectively.

Soybeans up as well

Soybeans futures for settlement in January traded at $13.4163 per bushel at 15:56 GMT, adding 0.23% on a daily basis. Prices swung between day’s high and low of $13.4412 and $13.3462 per bushel. The oilseed lost 0.85% last week after gaining 1.34% in the preceding one. On Tuesday, soybeans reached $13.5338, the strongest level since September 19th.

The USDA reported that global soybeans production is projected to reach a record high of 284.94 million tons, compared with 283.54 million forecast in November and up from 268.02 million a year earlier.

DTNs forecast called for dry, hot weather in the region from central Argentina to southern Brazil, which is favorable after the recent rains. However, if the pattern continues, it would become more stressful for crops. Thunderstorms and rain that occurred early this week in Brazil will maintain favorable soil moisture for earlier-planted crops while delaying the harvest effort for winter wheat and the final planting effort for soybeans.

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