Weekly Chicago crop futures mixed as lack of confidence plagues U.S. economy – Xinhua

CHICAGO, May 23 (Xinhua) — Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural futures were mixed for the trading week ending May 22 as a lack of health confidence hung over an effort by many U.S. states to end stay-at-home orders and restart economic activity halted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Spending and investment will stay extremely cautious until a vaccine is distributed, according to AgResource, a Chicago-based agricultural research firm.

CBOT corn ended the week slightly weaker. Although U.S. ethanol plants are expected to resume production in the weeks ahead as U.S. gasoline use rises, a glut of supply will remain an issue. The Agricultural Research Council (ARC) maintains that final old crop ethanol demand will be only 4.5 billion to 4.65 billion bushels, and an additional 300 million to 450 million bushels will be added to U.S. 2019/20 corn stocks. Global weather patterns are largely favorable, which will add to an excess of supply.

U.S. wheat futures ended the week mixed. Global wheat price determination will be dominated by weather for the next 30 to 45 days. Wheat crops in Europe, the Black Sea and the Northern U.S. will reach critical reproductive stages in late May and early June.

CBOT soybean futures were back-and-forth in a quiet trading week. Trade news was slow through the week with no export sales announcements. U.S. soybean export commitments continue to suggest that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is overestimating old crop exports by at least 50 million to 150 million bushels.

U.S. soybean planting progress reached 53 percent last week. AgResource said it expects 72 percent to 76 percent of the crop will be planted through Sunday. Amid a favorable mixture of sunshine, rain and temperatures for the next two weeks, a record U.S. soybean yield remains a good bet.

U.S. commodities markets will be closed on Monday in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. Enditem

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