CHICAGO, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) grains futures close mixed on Wednesday, with soybean futures falling to a three-week low on Wednesday, on track for a fourth straight decline on strong South American harvest prospects and a lack of supportive news.
Corn and wheat futures were modestly higher as traders awaited direction from a U.S. Department of Agriculture forum this week in which the government will offer forecasts on what U.S. farmers will plant this spring.
The most active corn contract for March delivery rose 1.75 cent, or 0.47 percent, to 3.71 dollars per bushel. May wheat delivery added 4.56 cents, or 1.39 percent, to 4.56 dollars per bushel. March soybeans fell 3.75 cents, or 0.36 percent, to 10.335 dollars per bushel.
In the outside markets, the Brent crude oil market is 0.72 dollar per barrel lower, the U.S. dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 12 points higher.
Jack Scoville, The PRICE Futures Group's senior market analyst, says that the market has turned a little lower due to little news.
Scoville adds, "Most attention is on the USDA Agriculture Outlook conference and what they will show for planting and stuff like that, over the next couple of days. Most investors do not seem too eager to do much before the USDA' s supply/demand tables come out, although that is a mystery to me since they are just model-based numbers."
Soybeans firmed in early moves but turned lower as traders mulled huge new soybean crops expected in South America. The harvest in Brazil was about 25 percent complete as of Friday, while Argentina's crop is still developing.
Also, U.S. farmers are expected to plant a record number of acres to soybeans this spring, the USDA has said. The government is expected to release an updated forecast at its Outlook Forum this week.
Expectations of a year-on-year decline in U.S. Corn plantings helped to underpin corn futures.
Wheat rose on bargain-buying after a three-session decline, drawing additional support from a pickup in global export business.
Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) bought 300,000 tonnes of Russian wheat and 60,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat at an international tender. The deal followed a Feb. 17 GASC purchase of another 360,000 tonnes of wheat. Enditem