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Corn, soy close lower

Updated: 01/19/2011 @ 2:32pm

Agriculture.com--Profit-taking pressured the CME Group corn prices, while an Argentine rain event pulled soybeans to a lower close Wednesday. On Thursday, the trade will be watching closely for a Chinese soybean purchase, as that country's leader visits the U.S., analysts say.

The March corn futures settled 18 1/4 cents lower at $6.41 1/4. The March soybean contract closed 1 3/4 cents lower at $14.11 1/2.  The March wheat futures settled 4 cents higher at $7.97 1/4. Soybean meal futures finished $0.10 lower per short ton at $383.30. The March soyoil futures settled $0.10 higher at $57.65.

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil is $0.60 per barrel lower, the dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are down 29 points.

A lower dollar is helping most of the higher grain trade, analysts say. The funds bought an estimated 15,000 corn contracts yesterday. Today, the corn market is seeing moments of profit-taking. Funds are now net-long the corn market by 520,000 contracts, the biggest ever, according to one analyst.

Jack Scoville, PRICE Futures Group vice-president, says profit-taking took place right after the opening.  "There is no real fundamental that I can see to drive the prices lower today.  The spreads are breaking, which is never a good sign.  But, my feeling is that the market is due for some profit taking more than anything, and that is exactly what we are seeing.  It is interesting that Corn is weaker than beans as it has been raining in argentina again and the corn crop there is already hurt but beans can come back, but there you go.  China here this week helping the beans, lots of ideas we do more business there," Scoville says.

Tim Hannagan, PFGBest.com senior grain analyst, says that soybeans went from trading bearish weekend weather with Tuesday's lower close to the long-term bullish weather on a higher opening Wednesday. "But, Wednesday was a little stronger after the opening, on a reminder the Chinese bosses are in Washington this week cutting trade agreements. 

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