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Easing off

Agriculture.com Staff 02/13/2009 @ 6:36am

The export sales report continues to provide an underlying bullish tone to both corn and soybean prices. Southeast Asian countries-Japan, Taiwan, South Korea-have been good buyers of corn and China is an outstanding buyer of beans. So much for the good news.

This week's lower market action seems to be a result of the continuing poor economic environment and lack of current concern over South American weather. The "February break" theme continues. Weakness in the stock market, crude oil, etc. only makes it easier for prices to decline.

Thursday's export sales report had some unusual numbers in it regarding corn exports. Apparently, the overall numbers were correct, which is good, since sales were a marketing year high. But Japan canceled a large quantity and there was almost the same quantity of sales to unknown destinations. Explanations for the unusual numbers vary, but the problem seems to have originated in Japan and then was corrected this week. The good news about this discussion is, even if it verifies, it appears the total sales are valid.

The USDA also released some baseline projections Thursday, which are not worth much. Created in November, the 10 year projections are really tame-small increases in demand, small increases in acres and yield, etc. The more interesting USDA projections will be released at the annual Outlook Conference at the end of February.

The market will increasingly worry about planted acres as the weather warms up. Many do not expect significant acreage swings, so private estimates will be watched closely. Remember, only one analyst is forecasting substantially lower corn acres. The USDA won't take any surveys until March 1st, with the results out on March 31st.

The risk of loss in trading commodities can be substantial. You should therefore carefully consider whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your financial situation.

The export sales report continues to provide an underlying bullish tone to both corn and soybean prices. Southeast Asian countries-Japan, Taiwan, South Korea-have been good buyers of corn and China is an outstanding buyer of beans. So much for the good news.

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