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CME: Corn Futures Closed Mostly Steady Friday

CME: Corn Futures Closed Mostly Steady Friday

18 March 2013

US - May Corn finished unchanged at 716 1/2, 3 1/4 off the high and 4 1/4 up from the low. July Corn closed up 1 3/4 at 700 1/4. This was 6 1/2 up from the low and 3/4 off the high.

May corn traded both sides of the unchanged today after dipping into negative territory this morning. The firm interior cash markets continue to support old crop contracts but traders noted a weaker tone to the basis in the east as some suggest corn from Ontario is moving south into the US.

The Agriculture Minister of Argentina released a statement midday that estimated the Argentina corn production at 27 million tonnes vs. the current USDA estimate of 26.50 million tonnes. Some in the trade believe production is actually close to 25 million tonnes due to a dry month of January.

Forecasts show only minor disruptions to corn planting next week in the southeast and delta and steady progress should be made. Planting progress was noted in Mississippi today.

Soybean Futures Closed Lower

May Soybeans finished down 10 1/2 at 1425, 20 1/4 off the high and 2 1/2 up from the low. July Soybeans closed down 5 1/4 at 1410 3/4. This was 3 1/2 up from the low and 15 off the high.

May Soymeal closed down 6 at 419.0. This was 1.2 up from the low and 8.9 off the high.

May Soybean Oil finished up 0.58 at 49.92, 0.27 off the high and 0.58 up from the low.

May soybeans traded lower on the day after NOPA crush came in below trade estimates. NOPA released February crush today and pegged the monthly crush at 136.3 million bushels vs. 158.2 in January and against trade estimates of 141.6.

Soybeans broke lower on the worse than expected data. Crush margins have seen a decline recently as international demand for soybean meal and oil has slowed as many buyers look ahead to cheaper supplies in Argentina.

The soybean basis in the interior of the US remains firm as processor attempt to drum up physical movement to fulfill sales commitments already made but this has also added to the decline in crush margins.

The USDA announced Friday morning that private exporters sold 165,000 tonnes of US soybeans to China for the 2013/14 marketing year.

Wheat Futures Closed Mixed

May Wheat finished down 1 3/4 at 723, 2 off the high and 5 1/2 up from the low. July Wheat closed up 1 1/4 at 721 1/4. This was 8 3/4 up from the low and 3/4 off the high.

Wheat markets traded lower for most of the day on profit taking and on thoughts that northern hemisphere production may rebound in 2013.

A European grain lobby estimated that the EU soft wheat production could rise to 127.8 million tonnes in 2013 vs. 124.55 in 2012. Wires also noted midday that a cargo of wheat was being loaded in a German port destined for Iran. Iran and the US have been in talks over the last week on a possible export deal but no deal has been confirmed.

Chicago wheat found buying support this week on strong feed wheat demand use and better than expected export sales data. A farm ministry official in Japan announced today that wheat feed imports were forecasted to rise to 1.07 million tonnes in the year to March 2014, following purchases of 900,000 tonnes last year.

Wheat's discount to corn is creating new demand in the market which is seen as a positive long term.



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