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CBOT agricultural futures show promising prospects

Corn and soybean in Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural futures soared to seven-year highs while wheat remained steady to slightly weaker in the past week.

Chicago-based research company AgResource stays bullish of agricultural futures under the background that a new stimulus package from the U.S. Democrats along with an expansion of pandemic vaccinations is allowing for growing confidence of an expanding economic recovery and greater demand for world raw materials. The company predicts a seasonal high not due until the middle of 2021.

Spot CBOT corn scored a seven-year high to start 2021. The market has been forced to rally as non-U.S. cash feedgrain markets continued to advance. Even at 5.00 U.S. dollars, U.S. corn is the world’s cheapest feedgrain and will remain so unless Brazil’s safrinha crop is record large.

AgResource is expecting a week of elevated volatility ahead, and breaks will be bought quickly by end users.

Brazilian drought in April-May or Northern Hemisphere adversity will send spot CBOT to 5.50 to 6.00 dollars. Dynamic markets lie ahead amid the need for rationing, AgResource noted.

U.S. wheat ended the week steady to weaker. A lack of market-specific news and seasonally slow export sales allowed modest profit taking. However, world markets ended higher. Russia’s wheat market will resume trading next week, and all eyes will be on Russian farmers’ willingness to sell at cheaper prices ahead of February’s export levy.

Otherwise, breaks will be brief and shallow. AgResource noted that interior basis across the Northern Hemisphere is positive into harvest. The EU market must rally further to slow export sales, which will funnel world demand to North America in late winter/early spring.

The longer-term issue for wheat is the need for above-trend Northern Hemisphere yields this year. Sub-trend yields will tighten the exporter balance sheets further. Moreover, wheat’s premium to corn will remain stout as wheat cannot allow itself to become a feedstuff. AgResource predicts the support for wheat lies at 6.00 dollars.

Soybean futures soared to seven-year highs in the first week of 2021. Concern for South American crop along with the record U.S. export/crush rate offers support on breaks. AgResource said the initial upside target rests at 15.30 to 16.20 dollars.

Record monthly exports of soybean are forecast into March. AgResource is expecting a record large U.S. December soybean crush rate to be released on Friday.

Despite the late-planted and stressed crop, Brazil will take over as the primary world exporter in March. China has already booked record tonnages of Brazilian soybeans for export through July. AgResource has raised 2020-2021 China import estimate of U.S. soybeans to 40 million to 41 million metric tons.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will trim South American crop sizes on Tuesday. And bigger crop cuts are expected to occur in February and March. AgResource maintains a bullish view for soybean, with the next upside price target at 15.30 dollars to 16.20 dollars.
Source: Xinhua

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