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Roundup: Chicago agricultural commodities close mixed over the week
From:Xinhua  |  2017-11-06 03:55

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CHICAGO, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) grains futures settled mixed over the trading week which ended November 3, with soybean futures higher on technical buying and fund short covering.

The most active corn contract for December delivery fell 0.5 cents weekly, or 0.14 percent, to 3.4825 dollars per bushel. December wheat delivery went down 1.5 cents higher, or 0.35 percent, to 4.2575 dollars per bushel. November soybeans added 1.75 cents, or 0.2 percent, to 9.77 dollars per bushel.

December corn ended the week fractionally lower. CBOT corn futures have spent the last seven weeks alternating between stronger and weaker closes, and they have not traded outside a range of 3.43-3.59 dollars per bushel. This makes fundamental sense and analysts expect ongoing sideways price action into late December or early January, when South American weather begins to have greater impact on yield.

Corn support is a function of an excessive fund short positions which is near record large. The world feed grain market is well supplied, but major exporter stocks are down slightly on the year.

Simply put, any major move in price requires either very good or very bad South American weather. Analyst caution against chasing breaks amid rising energy prices and the rapid development of La Nina.

Rallies are selling opportunities and will remain so indefinitely as U.S. acreage in 2018 will be higher. The only chance for a sustained CBOT corn rally rests with adverse South American weather.

Wheat futures ended a bit lower this week. World cash markets were relatively volatile, but Black Sea and Europe have maintained support at 192-193 dollars per metric ton versus 185 dollars on this week a year ago.

Wheat still lacks a demand story, perhaps even more than corn and beans. The Southern Hemisphere harvest lies just ahead, and yield/quality data there will be important over the next 4-6 weeks.

Black Sea exports continue at a record pace, and while the market there has been unable to rally, it's also been unwilling to break. Most importantly, there's no sign yet that any boost in U.S. export demand is imminent, and so rallies in the near term will be limited to short covering.

Analysts mention that spot CME futures have so far held strong at a monthly uptrend line, but without threats to South American corn production, and they doubt there's much upside above 4.75 dollars per bushel, basis spot futures. Their bets are that a secondary seasonal low will be scored in early December.

Soybean futures spent most of the week trading higher on technical buying and fund short covering, but gave back gains ahead of the weekend. The Brazilian Real fell to a 4-month low against the U.S. dollar, and Brazilian farmers were quick to add to their new crop hedges on the currency break.

Fundamentally, the November trade report showed that the U.S. exported a record amount of soybeans in the month of September, and a strong export program is expected to continue into early 2018.

However, the larger carrying and a record large crop will still leave December soybean stocks at the largest on record.

Technically, resistance in spot soybeans is expected on rallies back to 10.20 dollars per bushel while support is expected on a break back to 9.50 dollars. Analysts hold to a view of adding to sales on strong rallies, as a major Brazilian crop problem is needed to sustain a lasting bull market.