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Chicago agricultural commodity futures were traded mixed Friday, with wheat price up while corn and soybeans price down on sluggish demand concerns.
The most active corn contract for May delivery fell 1 cent, or 0.16 percent, to close at 6.29 U.S. dollars per bushel. May wheat rose 5 cents, or 0.72 percent, to settle at 6.99 dollars per bushel. May soybeans fell 10.25 cents, or 0.75 percent, to close at 13.6175 dollars per bushel.
According to Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), May corn traded both sides of the unchanged while the December contract ended into negative territory. Export sales for old crop remains sluggish with Argentina cargoes offered at a 30-40 U.S. dollars per tonne discount to the U.S. but new crop business has been rather active.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that US private exporters sold 120,000 tonnes of corn to an unknown destination for the 2013-14 crop year. The new business helped to limit the downside move for December corn but as planting accelerates in the coming weeks, many believe prices could move lower.
Wheat markets were mixed as traders positioned ahead of the weekend and next week's USDA Supply and Demand report. Exports for old crop were slow this week but talk that China has bought Chicago wheat added a positive tone to the trading. Russian wheat exports declined to 331,000 tonnes in the first two months of 2013 as its exportable surplus deteriorates. This was down from 1.184 million tonnes in 2012.
May soybeans traded lower on the day and put in a fresh low for the move Friday morning. It is reported that the death toll from the new strain of bird flu from the H7N9 virus rose to 6 people. The investigations are ongoing but the uncertainty of the situation and its overall impact on the hog and poultry sectors continue to add a risk off vibe to the oilseed markets.