U.S. agricultural futures close mixed

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural futures closed mixed on Friday, with corn rising and wheat and soybean falling.

The most active corn contract for December delivery rose 3.75 cents, or 0.62 percent, to settle at 6.1 U.S. dollars per bushel. September wheat fell 6.75 cents, or 0.86 percent, to settle at 7.7575 dollars per bushel. November soybean lost 9 cents, or 0.63 percent, to settle at 14.0875 dollars per bushel.

Trade volume was mediocre as few want to add to risk ahead of the weekend weather, and as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) by-state yield estimates loom large next Friday. A clear trend won’t be established until U.S. crop sizes are better known.

It is still a bit premature for bullish seasonal patterns to kick in, and fund investment in bulk awaits the release of the USDA’s August crop report. But Chicago-based research company AgResource holds that long-term fundamentals stay bullish, and it is critical that normal weather be established in South America this winter.

The USDA reported the sale of 264,000 metric tons of new crop soybeans to China and unknown destinations.

It has been confirmed that three additional vessels carrying a combined 58,000 tons of grain have left Ukrainian ports and are currently en route to Istanbul. Ukraine’s deputy agricultural minister stated Friday that new crop wheat exports could begin via the Black Sea in September.

Heat and dryness are ongoing across the Plains and Western Midwest. Spotty showers are forecast in northeast Iowa early next week, but the soaker needed to stabilize crop stress is unavailable. High pressure ridging will continue to meander aloft the Southern and Central Plains into Aug. 20, which keeps meaningful precipitation confined to the Upper Great Lakes and far eastern and southern Midwest.