Sat, 08 Aug 2020

CHICAGO, July 4 (Xinhua) -- CBOT agricultural futures rose for the week ending July 3 on a bullish U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) crop report, and higher energy markets.

CBOT corn futures rallied sharply following the National Agricultural Statistics Service's unexpected 5-million-acre cut to 2020 U.S. corn planted area in its crop report. This will reduce total new corn crop supply and place a bit pressure on U.S. Midwest weather over the next 20-25 days.

The intensity of the rally was driven in part by funds' massive net short established prior to the report's release, Chicago-based consulting company AgResource noted. The company suggests a longer-term bearish trend will stay intact on sliding demand due to oversized competition for export demand and negative U.S. ethanol margins.

The United States, Argentina, Brazil and Ukraine will be competing for world market share in coming months as growth in world trade has been noticeably weak and the impact of COVID-19 will keep global corn demand slowed. Only lasting adverse Central U.S. weather can spark further gains, AgResource said.

U.S. wheat futures ended the week mixed. Winter wheat contracts followed CBOT corn futures to moderate gains. Spring wheat futures ended flat as yield potential across the Northern United States and Canada is rising amid above-normal rainfall there.

Russian winter wheat harvesting has just begun, but early results have been disappointing. Close attention will be paid to Russian combine reports throughout July and August. The extent and duration of this year's post-harvest rally will hinge upon weather in Australia and Argentina.

Soybean futures rallied following the release of the acreage and quarterly Grain Stocks report. The soybean figures were supportive, with old crop stocks of 1,386 million bushels being slightly below the average trade estimate of 1,392 million bushels and new crop acreage of 83.8 million acres falling 891,000 acres short of the average estimate.

However, there is no shortage of U.S. soybeans. U.S. soybean exports in the last four weeks have averaged 11.8 million bushels, and AgResource estimates June export total at 65 million bushels. To reach the USDA's annual forecast, exports in the next eight weeks must average 27.4 million bushels. AgResource doubts that such an export forecast can be realized as U.S. outstanding sales to China are just 106.5 million bushels so far.

Without an adverse weather in the U.S. Midwest, AgResource remains bearish on any strong rallies for soybean.

As COVID-19 cases spike across the United States and the world economic outlook remains blurred, a sustained rally of agricultural futures is unlikely, AgResource predicts. Meanwhile, world trade is sliding amid the global pandemic, and the International Monetary Fund is likely to further cut its 2020 global GDP forecast from -4.9 percent.

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