Chicago agricultural commodity futures trading closes mixed

Chicago corn and soybean posted big gains, but wheat suffered slight losses Tuesday. The most active corn contract for May delivery gained 10.75 cents, or 1.7 percent, to close at 6.4425 dollars per bushel. May wheat lost 3.75 cents, or 0.53 percent, to settle at 7.0875 dollars per bushel. May soybeans rose 17.5 cents, or 1.27 percent, to close at 13.955 dollars per bushel.

May corn cashed in on weather premium Tuesday, as a cool, wet weather was forecast for the central Midwest in the next five days. According to weather forecast, snowfall will sweep through Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota this week, which should help increase soil moisture but might also cause flooding and thus hinder field work. The U.S. southeast and the delta region are also expected to have a storm Thursday.

Corn also found support on analysts' suggestion that China may import between 6 and 7 million tonnes of corn this year, which might surpass last year's record of 5.2 million tonnes. Market talks that the corn inventories at the state level in the U.S. need to be replenished added an extra strong support to corn futures prices.

Profit taking prevailed in wheat futures market Tuesday as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is scheduled to release its Supply and Demand report Wednesday.

However, the fear for freeze threat somehow limited the fall of wheat prices, as some wheat growing land with poor conditions may be abandoned this spring and farmers are likely to plant corn or sorghum instead. The agriculture ministry of France lowered its estimate of planted area for winter wheat this year to 4.96 million hectares, down from 4.98 million hectares in February, offering slight support to wheat.

Market expectation for a decline in soybean output triggered a sharp rise of May soybean futures. CONAB, a Brazilian government agency, cut its 2012-13 soybean production estimate by 0.24 percent to 81.9 million tonnes. The USDA production estimate for Brazil is currently at 83.5 million tonnes, but market analysts believe that this figure could be lowered in the Supply and Demand report. It is expected that soybean production in Argentina may stand at 50.5 million tonnes in Wednesday's report, compared with the USDA's current estimate of 51.5 million tonnes.