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Chicago agricultural commodities settle higher

Xinhua, March 2, 2017 Adjust font size:

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) grains futures closed higher on Wednesday with wheat futures climbing about two percent on a mix of technical buying and enthusiasm over a larger-than-expected wheat purchase by top global importer Egypt a day earlier.

Corn and soybeans also rose, supported by fund investment and carry-over buying from Tuesday's surge.

The most active corn contract for May delivery rose 8.25 cent, or 2.21 percent, to 3.82 U.S. dollars per bushel. May wheat delivery rose 13.25 cents, or 2.99 percent, to 4.57 dollars per bushel. May soybeans added 16 cents, or 1.54 percent, to 10.5175 dollars per bushel.

Wheat posted the biggest advance by percentage, buoyed by news on Tuesday that Egypt's main state wheat buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), purchased 535,000 tons of wheat at an international tender. The purchase was GASC's largest since January 2014.

Additional support stemmed from forecasts for potentially stressful dry and warm conditions to persist in the southern U.S. Plains winter wheat belt.

Corn and soyoil futures also drew follow-through support from Tuesday, when both markets rose on reports of changes in U.S. government policy that could lift U.S. biofuel production.

Corn is the primary U.S. feedstock for ethanol while soyoil is used in biodiesel.

However, gains were capped by a lack of confirmation from the Trump administration about any changes to the U.S. Biofuels program.

India is expected to soon lift it's wheat import tax back to 25 percent. The import tax had been lowered to 10 percent back in September following a sharp drop in the 2016/17 harvest. Yield is expected to recover in the year ahead while area is seen expanding, so with production set to rebound, the government looks to protect domestic producers.

Ukrainian grain exports for the month of February were reported by the Agriculture Ministry at 2.86 million tons, down from 2.92 million tons in January. The majority, or 1.8 million tons, was corn, with 842,000 tons of wheat and 192,000 tons of barley. Endit