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Chicago agricultural commodities close lower

Chicago agricultural commodities close lower

CHICAGO, Dec. 21 (PNA/Xinhua) — Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) grains futures settle lower on Tuesday with soybean futures tumbling to a nearly one-month low, as rain in Argentina’s dry crop belts kept South America on track for a bumper harvest.

The most active corn contract for March delivery fell 3 cents, or 0.85 percent, to 3.5025 dollars per bushel. March wheat delivery fell 1.75 cents, or 0.43 percent, to 4.0325 dollars per bushel. January soybeans dropped 16.25 cents, or 1.59 percent, to 10.0525 dollars per bushel.

Corn and wheat futures also ticked lower, under pressure from a stronger U.S. dollar and technical selling.

Rain expected in Argentina this week has eased concerns about stress to corn and soybean crops in some areas, while forecasters continue to see record harvests in fellow exporter Brazil. Even so, dryness poses a threat to soy production in southern parts of Argentina’s bread-basket province Buenos Aires, climate experts said on Tuesday, and could interfere with planting.

The U.S. dollar, which rose on Tuesday to a 14-year high, has also taken the shine off healthy U.S. exports of soybeans and corn.

“The strong dollar indeed makes it hard for any rally potential to fully develop,” said Matt Ammermann, vice president Eastern Europe and Black Sea region, at INTL FCStone.

Since the weekend, parts of the U.S. Plains and Midwest have experienced temperatures cold enough to threaten wheat crops.

Wheat prices remain anchored by record global inventories projected in 2016-17, with U.S. wheat facing additional pressure from a dollar rally that makes the origin less competitive for export. (PNA/Xinhua)
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