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Corn, wheat close higher

Updated: 02/19/2014 @ 4:27pm

DES MOINES, Iowa (Agriculture.com)--Demand helped the corn and wheat markets to finish higher Wednesday, while soybeans were pressured by improved rain chances in Brazil.


The March corn futures contract ended 4 1/4 cents higher at $4.53. The March soybean futures contract settled 6 3/4 cents lower at $13.54. March wheat futures finished 8 1/4 cents higher at $6.20 per bushel. The March soymeal futures contract finished $3.90 per short ton lower at $453.00. The March soyoil futures settled $0.12 lower at $40.24.

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil is $0.75 per barrel higher, the dollar is higher, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 14 points lower. "Remember, the market had a bearish and short mentality all year in corn and wheat. So, the rally has been in large part an unwind of spec shorts. To get higher prices, you now have to ask the market to enter new lengths," one CME Group floor trader, requesting anonymity, says.

He adds, "What I see now is world price moving lower on feed grains and U.S. export for corn slowing again. Let’s see if that’s corroborated by Friday’s sales report.

Old-crop soybean prices remain strong, with relatively high basis in Brazil, he says. But expect basis to weaken there as the Argentine harvest comes on at the end of March. 

So, the floor trader sees sideways trading, near-term, in general. "Soybean price inverses (nearby contracts trade higher than outmonths) are high enough to have as much downside as upside risk," he says.

Jack Scoville, PRICE Futures Group vice president, says the soybeans are experiencing mostly weather market, plus a tight U.S. supplies market.


"We went up to some previous highs in March today and took it out by 0.25 and could not do anything with it."

I know U.S. producers are thinking of selling some beans today, and I am sure they are in Brazil as well, although my guys are quiet so far. So, I think we are trying to blow off the beans today, and a weak close could mean lower prices for the rest of the week. Yields are good in Brazil, and the weather is good for corn and soybeans down there," Scoville says.

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