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Corn ends 'limit up'

Updated: 03/17/2011 @ 2:10pm

CHICAGO, Illinois (Agriculture.com)--The CME Group corn market closed up the daily 30 cent limit, while wheat and soybeans finished sharply higher Thursday.

The May corn futures settled up the daily 30 cent limit at $6.46 1/2. The May soybean contract settled 48 1/4 cents higher at $13.43 1/2.  The May wheat futures closed 48 1/4 cents higher at $7.10 1/4. The May soymeal futures finished $14.10 higher per short ton at $358.60. The May soyoil futures ended $1.56 higher at $54.52.

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil is $3.52 per barrel higher, the dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are up 148 points.

The outside markets are bullish for grain and soybeans. The Dow is rebounding on lower jobless claims report. Corn remains locked 'limit' up on demand.

Tim Hannagan, PFGBest.com senior analyst, says demand and slight relief in Japan's nuclear crisis has the market underpinned.

"Wheat and beans made new yearly lows with corn almost new lows this week, after fear of lost grain sales to Japan entered. But, today brought hope that the nuclear power plant total meltdown might be avoided, as water cooling attempts may buy the time to get a power line in to re-start the water pumps," Hannagan says.

Improvement of Japan's crisis would end the worst case scenario and funds might re-enter their long positions, he says. 

"This risk into the weekend of a meltdown sets up grains for a limit down move Monday. It's day to day. Note, the market had initially ignored all the bullish news this week that is simmering under the surface, like the damage to corn and bean crops in Brazil and our winter wheat breaking dormancy with a dry and warm forecast for 11 to 15 days out."

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