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Corn, soybeans end up a nickel

Updated: 12/19/2013 @ 2:54pm

DES MOINES, Iowa (Agriculture.com)--Stronger-than-expected demand has helped corn finish higher Thursday.

The Dec. corn futures contract settled 5 1/2 cents higher at $4.30. The March soybean futures contract closed 5 1/2 cents higher at $13.19. March wheat futures finished 2 cents lower at $6.10 per bushel. The March soymeal futures contract finished $0.80 per short ton higher at $428.50. The March soyoil futures closed $0.26 higher at $39.64.

In the outside markets, the NYMEX Brent crude oil is $1.11 per barrel higher, the dollar is higher, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 4 points higher.

Jack Scoville, PRICE Futures Group analyst, says the trade volume was slow, as corn prices caught a headwind.

"Corn was up a bit on the solid export sales, but beans down a bit on the less than expected export sales. It looks like we are starting to lose out demand to South America, which had been expected and now seems to be happening," Scoville says. 


There are real good conditions right now in just about all of South America, although it will be turning warmer and drier in southern Brazil and Argentina.  

"For now, this is OK, as they need time to get the last of the crop in, but if the hot and dusty hangs around we could reverse next month.  For now, though, I expect beans to work lower, corn to go nowhere, and wheat maybe to turn sideways. We are in a holiday market, the volume is bad," Scoville says.

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