CHICAGO, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural futures closed lower in the trading week which ended Dec. 21, with soybeans falling slightly despite new purchases from China.
The most active contract for March soybeans were down 2.75 cents weekly, or 0.31 percent, to 8.9775 dollars per bushel. March wheat dropped 16 cents, or 3.02 percent, to 5.14 dollars per bushel. March corn went down 6.25 cent, or 1.62 percent, to 3.785 dollars per bushel.
Private exporters on Thursday reported to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) new export sales of 204,000 metric tons of soybeans for delivery to China, following 1.199 million metric tons to the same destination this week.
China bought 1.43 million metric tons of U.S. soybeans last week, according to the USDA. Traders had anticipated that China would buy more soybeans, market watchers said.
CBOT soybeans were also under pressure from abundant supply from South America, overshadowing support from renewed Chinese buying of U.S. supplies.
As weather turns more favorable and the harvest underway in South America, another top world soybean exporter Brazil is ready to arrange shipments for overseas buyers.
In its latest crop report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated Brazilian soybeans production at 122.0 million metric tons in December, up 1.5 million metric tons from November.
CBOT corn futures fell over 6 cents along with soybeans as Chinese demand was lacking and as U.S. ethanol margins sink further into the red. Domestic U.S. corn use in the USDA's January report will be lowered another 25 million bushels.
Even blend margins have collapsed, and there's just very little profit incentive for the biofuel industry at present.
Wheat futures ended lower following a sizable sell-off Friday. The meeting between Russian exporters and government officials yielded little new information.
In the meantime, Russia raised its grain export forecast and dampened speculation that tight supplies would prompt curbs on overseas shipments from the world's biggest wheat supplier.