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Corn, soy prices close higher

Updated: 01/14/2011 @ 2:28pm

After trading both sides of zero, the CME Group corn and soybean markets used fund-buying support to close higher Friday.

The March corn futures settled 6 1/4 cents higher at $6.48 3/4. The March soybean contract closed 6 1/2 cents higher at $14.22 1/2.  The March soybean meal futures ended $4.50 higher per short ton at $388.10. The March soyoil futures settled $0.44 lower at $57.27.

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil is $0.12 per barrel higher, the dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are up 52 points.

Jack Scoville, PRICE Futures Group vice-president, says overnight profit-taking started the markets lower. "But, most of the selling came after China announced another interest rate increase and reserve requirements on banks.  Funds seem to be buying the break in all markets, I have not heard of a lot of commercial action."

Though they both closed higher on fund-buying, soybeans stayed a little weaker than corn, with the forecasts for some very beneficial rains to move across most of the growing areas of Argentina this weekend and early next week, Scoville says. 

"Also, lower-than-expected NOPA crush, put some pressure on soybeans.  I am not really understanding why wheat is so weak, although some moderation in temperatures is expected here.  Must be the demand which I admit has not been real strong lately.  But we could get some heaving of the soils out in the Plains which is just as damaging," he says.

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