Chicago agricultural commodities settle lower

2017-03-20 23:19:58 GMT2017-03-21 07:19:58(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

CHICAGO, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) grains futures closed lower on Monday with wheat futures falling over 1 percent amid forecasts for improving weather for crop development in key U.S. growing areas.

The most active corn contract for May delivery fell 4 cent, or 1.09 percent, to 3.635 dollars per bushel. May wheat delivery dropped 6 cent, or 1.38 percent, to 4.3025 dollars per bushel. May soybeans fell 0.5 cents, or 0.05 percent, to 9.995 dollars per bushel.

Wheat futures traded lower after the dollar's drop stalled.

The dollar had been declining since last week when the Federal Reserve raised rates, but seemed less hawkish than many analysts expected. A weaker greenback boosts spending power for overseas buyers of U.S. products including grains and oilseeds. That, in turn, spurred some buying of agricultural contracts on speculation demand for U.S. supplies would increase.

The dollar, however, failed to breach a key technical level this morning, which seemingly underpinned its value. The greenback is up 0.1% late in the day against a basket of its global counterparts.

Investors reduced their net-long positions, or bets on higher prices, in hard-red wheat futures to 25,290 contracts from 35,306 a week earlier, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission(CFTC). Soft-red wheat net-shorts rose to 110,093 contracts, up from 65,521, the CFTC said.

Jack Scoville, Vice President from the PRICE Futures Group said, "The most disappointing price session today came in the wheat market. On forecast some rain appear in drier parts of the great plains by the end of the month or so, maybe the first part of April."

Expectations of a massive crop in South America cutting into export demand for U.S. soybeans in the coming weeks limited the gains in soybeans.

Brazil's Abiove soy industry association pegged the country's soybean crop, which is being harvested, at 107.3 million tonnes, up from its February forecast of 104.6 million tonnes. Brazil's soy exports were seen at 59.8 million tonnes, 1.1 million tonnes larger than Abiove's previous outlook. Enditem

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