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Corn closes higher

Updated: 03/09/2012 @ 1:34pm

DES MOINES, Iowa (Agriculture.com)--With the CME Group corn market closing higher, soybeans lower, roles reversed from the opening bell Friday. What looked to be a bullish soybean USDA Report, rumors of China buying U.S. corn turned the markets upside down Friday.

The May corn futures settled 9 1/2 cents higher at $6.45. The May soybean contract finished 3/4 of a cent lower at $13.37 3/34. The May wheat futures ended 8 1/4 cents higher at $6.42.  The May soymeal futures closed $4.50 per short ton lower at $362.70. The May soyoil futures settled $0.88 higher at $54.27.
In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil is $0.73 per barrel higher, the dollar is higher and the Dow Jones Industrials are up 34 points.

Jack Scoville, PRICE Futures Group vice president, says the markets are staging one wild session.

"What a wild day. I think the rally after the opening caught a lot of people by surprise. The world data was not bearish anywhere, the cuts were there. The Informa planted area and south America estimates seem to be the reason for the selling. 

Informa, the private analyst firm, released updated U.S. Planting Acreage estimates Friday. For 2012 U.S. corn, the firm sees farmers planting 95.5 million acres. U.S. soybean plantings are pegged at 75.1 million, All Wheat at 57.745 million and Spring Wheat at 13.8 million acres.

"I think some spec selling entered, at the opening, followed by people trying to buy the break, mostly speculators, then speculators returned on the selling side later.  What a race," Scoville says.  

Scoville adds, "I would still not be shocked to see beans move lower by the close, but right now I got no real solid ideas for the rest of the day after what has happened so far."

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Newswire is carrying a story that signals Chinese may buy or has bought U.S. corn, floor traders say.

"No one can corroborate the rumor. And the Gulf basis is unchanged. So, it looks like a false rumor to me," says one CME Group floor trader requesting anonymity.

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